Union head reacts to indictment of 4 Miami-Dade cops in fatal UPS truck shootoutWPLG Local 10

Steadman Stahl, the President of the Police Benevolent Association, spoke to Local 10 News Tuesday following the indictment of four Miami-Dade police officers in connection with the fatal shootout involving a UPS driver who was taken hostage in May of 2019.

“These officers had seconds, minutes to make decisions,” said Stahl. “Our hearts go out to the families and the innocent people who lost their lives, but the anger should be aimed at the two individuals that went into a jewelry store with guns blazing.”

It was Dec. 5, 2019, when two armed robbers, Lamar Alexander, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, both then 41, robbed a jewelry store in Coral Gables before leading police on a 25-mile chase after they hijacked a UPS truck with driver Frank Ordonez in it.

This set off a police chase spanning two counties, culminating in nearly two dozen police officers from multiple agencies firing their weapons at the truck at a busy intersection—Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road.

Miami-Dade County, Pembroke Pines, Miramar and the Florida Highway Patrol — were involved in a shootout, as a preliminary investigation revealed that around 200 bullets struck the hijacked UPS truck.

The aftermath saw both suspects, Alexander and Hill, dead, along with the UPS driver, Frank Ordonez, and 70-year-old Rick Cutshaw, who was struck by a stray bullet while sitting in his car on his way home from work, investigators confirmed.

Local 10 News heard from Ordonez’s mother, Lucy Apolinario, on Monday, after she learned that the officers were indicted.

“Long, long time I am waiting,” said Apolinario. “His children need justice.”

Following the Broward State Attorney’s office presenting the investigation to the grand jury, four Miami-Dade police officers involved are facing indictment and likely serious charges.

Attorney David Braun, representing one of the officers, expressed concern over the prosecution’s power and its impact on law enforcement officers.

“As we’ve seen recently, prosecutors have tremendous power and sometimes that power is prioritized over people. As a resident of our County, I’m concerned the people that protect us are being told that if they do not shoot back at a shooter, they will be prosecuted; Now this case says to those same people if you shoot back at the shooter you will also be prosecuted, Seems like a tough time to be a police officer,” said Braun.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement handed over its findings to the Broward State Attorney’s Office on Sept. 15, 2021.

Authorities have not released the names of the police officers and it is still unclear what exact charges they will face.

The PBA shared a statement with Local 10 News Monday that read, in part:

“We’re extremely disappointed that after almost five years, these officers are finding themselves indicted for something they had seconds to decide. The Broward State Attorney’s office is prosecuting officers for responding to armed subjects, where they just got done prosecuting an officer for not responding in Parkland.”

Local 10 News has learned the four officers being indicted are expected to turn themselves in by next week.

RELATED: FLORIDA FILES: A deep dive into the shootout gone wrong

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