(WSVN) - South Florida police are determined to bring criminals to justice. In Miami-Dade, a special task force hits the ground running when a murderer is on the loose. 7’s Ann Keil gives us an exclusive look at how the team works, as they try “To Catch a Killer.”
A quiet Thursday afternoon in Northwest Miami is shattered by gunfire. A car, still running, is riddled with bullets, and the two men inside are killed.
Miami-Dade’s Homicide Task Force is there.
Lt. Benny Solis, Miami-Dade Police: “What we can tell for now is that the shooting actually happened one block down.”
Lt. Benny Solis briefs the detectives, an extension of Miami-Dade’s main homicide team.
Lt. Benny Solis: “We’re the ones out there: boots on the ground, knocking on doors, finding witnesses, trying to get the evidence, collecting the evidence and assisting the homicide teams.”
The task force was put together in 2013.
Director Juan Perez, Miami-Dade Police: “It was created because we were having so much gun violence in the north end of the county.”
It’s all about fighting street violence by forming partnerships. The task force detectives are now working hand in hand with the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshals, City of Miami Police and the Miami-Dade State Attorney.
Director Juan Perez: “We basically just broke down the walls, the silos that separated our bureaus, and brought them all in. We have experts — from economic crimes to gangs to homicides — within that task force that have experience in many different fields.”
Specialized investigators help the task force by hitting the street.
Detective: “Did you hear anything?”
They dress down to blend in as they talk to witnesses.
Witness: “We heard like here, ‘boom, boom, boom, boom.'”
Detective: “So kind of like a machine gun.”
And they are determined to hunt down the killer.
Whether the detectives are searching for the suspects’ car…
Undercover detective: “Driving up and down every street, every avenue.”
Or trying to link the bullets to other crimes.
Lt. Benny Solis: “If you get a match, would you let us know as soon as possible? That’s gonna be key evidence in our investigation.”
They don’t give up.
Some six hours after the shooting, the victims’ car, sealed and covered to preserve evidence, is towed to the medical examiner’s office. The men inside were later identified as Dionte Reddick and Christopher Sealy. Both 24 years old.
Director Juan Perez: “One thing we cannot do is stand still, ’cause the criminals evolve, the crimes evolve, the strategies they utilize evolve, and they’ll figure out ways to beat us.”
In the days, weeks and months to come, the task force will rely on the expertise of their federal and state partners and continue combing this neighborhood, revisiting witnesses and developing new leads in hopes of making an arrest.
Lt. Benny Solis: “We’re looking for the worst of the worst. We came to homicide because we want to make a difference. We’re there for the victims, we’re their last call.”
Since the task force came together four years ago, Miami-Dade Police say they have been able to successfully close more homicide cases than ever before.
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