MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Gardens Police have arrested a man after a high-speed chase ended in gunfire, Monday afternoon.
The chase lasted just over 20 minutes and ended with the suspect crashing into a Miami Gardens Police SUV, whose driver fired a shot at the suspect.
Later, Monday afternoon, Miami Gardens police confirmed that one of their officers fired a weapon into the suspect’s vehicle once he crashed into the Miami Gardens Police vehicle, at the corner of Miami Gardens Drive and Fifth Court.
The bullet was shot through the front windshield of the SUV, missing the suspect in the white, 2016 Chrysler rental.
Miami Gardens Police are now treating the case as a police-involved shooting and are investigating the matter. The Miami Gardens officer who fired at the suspect has not been identified.
Police were in pursuit of the man after, they said, he waved a firearm at someone on a Metro bus, earlier that day. The chase happened in and around a residential area in Miami Gardens.
According to family, the driver’s name is Antonio “Tony” Jackson. His father told 7News Jackson was driving a car someone had rented for him.
“I seen the chase on TV, I know it was my son,” said Jackson’s father, Alfonso Rivera. “I know the car, and I knew it was a rental, so I called his mother, ‘Where’s Tony?'”
His mother said her son called her once police began pursuing him. “All I know is he called me saying, ‘Mom, the police behind me,'” his mother, Angela, said. “And I said, ‘What happened?’ and he was like, ‘Mom, the police behind me.’ I said, ‘Are you good?’ he said, ‘I’m good, but I’m not gonna pull over because there’s too many back there.’ I said, ‘So, what you want me to?’ He said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I’m home.’ He said, ‘Well, I’m comin’ home.'”
According to Jackson’s parents, the suspect was afraid police would shoot him if he stopped the vehicle. Therefore, in order to get him to stop, his family tried to convince him to stop at a gas station where there would be witnesses present if anything were to happen. Instead, he drove to his home where he was greeted by his family with cheers.
“He was scared that a police might either shoot at him or beat him,” said Jackson’s father, “so our advice was to get to a gas station and stop where everybody could see.”
“He was scared,” Jackson’s uncle said. “The average person’s gonna do that.”
The mother said Jackson stopped when he found out she was parked nearby.
“When he found out I was parked right there, he pulled over, and that’s when he stopped,” said his mother. “I’m glad he didn’t get hurt, and I told him to pull over, and he pulled over when I was there, so I could witness, because they could’ve killed my son.”
Jarvis Manley said he saw the police come out with their weapons drawn.
“They came out with the guns drawn a little bit. The police ‘copter came down and scooped down, and after that, it was it. Take him into custody, no fight,” Manley said. “Man, this has got to be a scene from a movie. It was action packed.”
It appears only one shot was fired because just one evidence marker was seen on the ground.
Officers are taught in training that a vehicle is a deadly weapon. However, Miami Gardens police have yet to say whether this shooting was justified.
Angela said she has spoken to her son, who she said was at Miami-Dade County jail.
“I want to know why. He could’ve killed my child,” Angela said. “I ain’t supposed to run, but I don’t want to get killed, so it’s like this.”
Jackson has been charged with fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving with damage to person or property and driving with a suspended license. He was held on a $15,000 bond but bonded out on Tuesday morning.
Police said they are still investigating the shooting. They are also waiting for a statement from the officer.
If you have any information that could help investigators, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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