MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - A grieving community is coming together two days after a police shootout in Miramar claimed two innocent lives, including a UPS driver whose vehicle was carjacked, as unanswered questions about the officers’ forceful actions continue to swirl.
Saturday afternoon, a stuffed animal, balloons, flowers, a UPS hat and even a FedEx package with a condolence note written on it sat along Miramar Parkway near the spot where, investigators said, police officers and two armed robbers opened fire back on Thursday.
The message from FedEx was left in memory of Frank Ordonez, the UPS driver who, authorities said, was taken hostage by the suspects shortly after they robbed Regent Jewelers along Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, Thursday afternoon.
“He didn’t deserve what happened to him, at all,” said a mourner.
The FedEx note read in part, “Thank you for what you did out in the city for everyone. R.I.P. Frank Ordonez.”
“I never would have thought this would happen. He was my best friend,” his sister, Genevieve Ordonez, told Inside Edition.
Ordonez, the third oldest of six siblings, was 27 years old. He leaves behind two daughters ages 3 and 5.
According to investigators, the chaotic chain of events first began when Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill, both 41, tried robbing Regents Jewelry at gunpoint.
At some point, police said, bullets went flying, injuring one person, and the duo got away.
Just a few blocks away, officials said, the robbers carjacked Ordonez’s truck and held him hostage, then led police on a 30-mile chase to Miramar.
It all ended in a hail of gunfire, as video showed several officers discharging their firearms at Alexander and Hill while they and Ordonez were still inside the vehicle.
All three of them were fatally struck in the crossfire. A fourth victim, identified by police as 70-year-old Richard Cutshaw, was also shot and kill as he sat behind the wheel of his black sedan stuck in traffic.
Residents of the Pembroke Pines neighborhood where Cutshaw lived by himself were still reeling over the tragic news Friday night.
“Mr. Cutshaw was a very nice gentleman, very friendly, just a loving person, just real nice guy,” said neighbor Elaine Vega. “It’s a shock to all of us.”
About 48 hours later, many of the cars caught in the middle of the gun battle were brought to Miramar City Hall for processing. As of Saturday night, only an SUV and a sedan remained there.
As this lengthy investigation continues, Ordonez’s family said they are demanding accountability and justice.
“Frank doesn’t have a voice, and what’s upsetting about the whole thing is is that officers that shot and killed — I’ll rephrase that, officers that murdered my son — will go home to their wife and kids,” said his stepfather, Joe Merino. “Frank never came home that night.”
The FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement continue to investigate.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page for Ordonez. To donate, click here.
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