SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities took five robbery subjects into custody after, officials said, they robbed two women and bailed out onto a Southwest Miami-Dade school’s campus, forcing its temporary lockdown, Monday morning.
A Miami-Dade Police cruiser reportedly tailed the car suspected of being involved in two robberies, one at a bus stop and another in a parking lot at Southland Mall.
Officers then followed a stolen Hyundai Sonata believed to be linked to the robberies into the area of Southwest 139th Avenue, when the five men inside decided to bail out, forcing the lockdown of Miami MacArthur South, located at 13990 S.W. 264th St., just before 11:30 a.m.
During the pursuit, officials said, the subjects collided with a cruiser, and then crashed into a wall at the campus. “The vehicle not only crashed into our police unit but also ended up crashing into the actual school,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Dan Ferrin.
Witnesses at the school said it was a chaotic scene. “It was a whole bunch of police. It was like five police [officers] going to the back, one going the other way and stuff like that” said ninth-grader Dajahni Warren.
The school was placed on a temporary lockdown, just before noon, due to the five subjects running onto the school property.
Students ran through the halls to get to safety. “They were telling us all to run and stuff, to hurry up and get somewhere where we could just sit there and stuff like that,” said Warren, “so we all headed and ran to the cafeteria.”
Police said the ordeal started in the area of U.S. 1 and Southwest 200th Street, after a 12-year old, two 14-year olds and two men in their 20s robbed a 59-year-old woman at a bus stop.
Investigators said the subjects then headed to a parking lot at the Southland Mall and robbed another woman, in her 80s. She suffered minor injuries.
Detectives said they then took off in the stolen blue Sonata. “Marked units had seen the vehicle, and a pursuit occurred at that moment,” said Ferrin.
Dominique Santiel, whose sister is a student at Miami MacArthur South, said she was in Fort Lauderdale when she heard about the lockdown. She rushed to the school as quickly as she could to make sure her sibling was OK.
“I took an Uber down back this way, and when I got here they were like, ‘You’re not allowed to come in,’ or whatever,” said Santiel.
Police were able to detain all five suspects. While all students are safe, this is a day they will never forget. “They started running, and we see kids running, and we see police started coming and helicopters and stuff like that,” said Warren.
The lockdown was lifted at 12:55 p.m. Students said they could not leave the cafeteria until the end of the school day, when their parents picked them up.
Police said no one was hurt during either of the crashes.
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