HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Loved ones came together to pay their respects to a Hollywood Police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty, as new details about the shooting that claimed his life were released.
7News cameras captured friends and family members on Tuesday night as they stood together to remember Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino near the spot where he was shot and killed.
“In our anger and sadness, we ask why,” said a speaker at the event. “Why is this tragedy affecting these officers and their loved ones?”
Cameras showed mourners as they surrounded Chirino’s patrol car. The hood of the vehicle was covered with floral arrangements.
The speaker led mourners in prayer as someone else translated into Spanish.
Investigators said Chirino, who served the department since 2017, got into a physical altercation with 18-year-old Jason Banegas, who was riding a stolen bicycle and carrying a stolen handgun.
Police said the suspect was breaking into cars in Hollywood’s Emerald Park neighborhood, and he told detectives he was trying to kill himself when he pulled the trigger.
Instead, investigators said, he struck Chirino.
“On the night of October 18th, we lost a true hero,” said Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien.
Detectives said the suspect also told them he panicked because he knew he was carrying a gun and did not want to go back to jail, since he had only been out for 30 days.
Chirino was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He was 28 years old.
“He came to work to protect his community and sacrificed his life,” said O’Brien.
Chirino’s family and friends said they want to keep remembering the life he lived, as an avid traveler full of life.
“Whatever you guys need, we’re here for you, our community is here for you, this country is here for you,” O’Brien told mourners at the memorial.
Banegas faces a list of charges, including felony murder and armed burglary.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Chirino’s family. To donate, click here.
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