PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - Police took a former Miami-Dade School Board member into custody in Pembroke Pines after, they said, he led officers on a high-speed chase and opened fire at them.
The violent chain of events that unfolded across busy streets in broad daylight led to the closure of several roadways, including Sheridan Street near Interstate 75.
Pembroke Pines Police units responded to a call about a disturbance at the parking lot of the AMC Pembroke Lakes 9 multiplex, located at 12085 Pines Blvd., Sunday afternoon. Shortly after, they received a call about shots fired.
Officials said 81-year-old Solomon Stinson fired at two people while they argued over a parking spot.
Investigators said the officers witnessed the subject’s vehicle pulling out of the Pembroke Lakes Mall.
“As they arrived on scene, they observed the suspect vehicle exiting onto Flamingo Road northbound, and they began to pursue the vehicle,” said Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Al Xiques.
Police said the officers pursued Stinson for several miles, and at one point, he began firing at the officers.
“The suspect vehicle stopped at Sheridan Street and Flamingo Road, where he began to shoot at police officers, and there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and Pembroke Pines Police officers,” said Xiques.
Cellphone video captured the sound of gunfire, followed by several Pembroke Pines Police SUVs speeding through an intersection.
Police later learned a stray bullet struck Jeff Labissiere’s black Toyota sedan with him inside. He was not hurt.
“At the moment I was shocked, I had a whole bunch of adrenaline in myself, but hopefully nothing happened to anybody else,” said Labissiere.
Police said Stinson then headed westbound on Sheridan Street until he lost control of his car and crashed in a wooded area near 140th Avenue, causing the vehicle to catch fire. He then fled on foot in an unknown direction.
“He exited his vehicle, and officers were able to set up a perimeter around the area and maintain the suspect in that area,” said Xiques.
Police swarmed the area and were able to block in Stinson.
“He was uncooperative with officers’ demands to put his hands in the air, and he was not following commands. He was just laying on the ground,” said Xiques.
Officers moved in a short time later and were able to apprehend the suspect.
“They did know that his firearm was close to him, that it was accessible, and therefore, they proceeded with caution,” he said.
7SkyForce HD flew above the scene on Monday where tire marks could be seen along the grass leading to the wooded area where Stinson crashed.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho released a statement Monday that read, “As disturbing and deeply sad as these reported events are, they stand in stark contrast to five decades of service and an unwavering commitment to educating children in Miami-Dade.”
Stinson was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries.
No one else was hurt.
Investigators said there were no other suspects involved.
Stinson served on the Miami-Dade School Board for 14 years and in the school district for 50 years. He could face a list of charges, including aggravated assault with a firearm.
Miami-Dade Public Schools posted photos of Stinson being honored for his 50 years of service in a 2017 tweet.
Police temporarily shut down Sheridan Street for hours between I-75 and Flamingo Road in both directions while they investigated.
The roadway has since reopened.
Cameras captured a flatbed tow truck removing Stinson’s car from the scene of the crash, just before 11 p.m., Sunday.
As of Monday afternoon, Stinson remains hospitalized at Memorial Hospital West under Florida’s Baker Act law.
Once released from the hospital, Stinson will be jailed.
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