MIRAMAR, FLA. (WSVN) - UPS driver Frank Ordonez’s family has laid the father of two to rest just a day after loved ones, friends and strangers lined up outside of a Miami funeral home to pay their respects.
Tears streaming down their faces and their arms wrapped around one another, relatives said their final farewell to the 27-year-old, Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking through a translator, Ordonez’s mother, Luz Apolinario, said her son’s death was untimely.
“All I know is that I’ve left my son here, and I have to leave by myself. That’s what I know,” she said. “It wasn’t time to leave him here.”
“The moment that you get to the cemetery, and you see that coffin rolling down in the ground, that’s when reality is setting in, and that’s where the feelings are,” said Joe Merino, Ordonez’s stepfather.
Ordonez was laid to rest surrounded by loved ones at Vista Memorial Gardens in Miami Lakes.
Earlier Tuesday, 7News cameras captured people outside of Vior Funeral Home as hundreds waited on the funeral procession to begin.
“We all respect Frank, and I’m sorry that it happened the way it did,” said one mourner.
“It just hurts,” said a mourner in a FedEx uniform.
Merino had been vocal about the officers’ actions since the day of the shooting.
“I’ve always said, ‘Don’t believe me. Look at the videos,'” said Merino. “Plural. Look at the videos.”
Ordonez was kidnapped on Thursday afternoon when police said Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill stole his UPS delivery truck and used it to try to get away after trying to rob Regent Jewelers on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.
Dozens of police cars chased the truck into Miramar where it ended in a shootout at the height of rush hour traffic.
The two suspects, Ordonez and an innocent bystander, Richard Cutshaw, were all killed.
“We all have a clock inside, and the one who decides to stop that clock is God,” said Merino.
Tuesday night, police said 18 officers from four different agencies opened fire when the chase ended.
Hours before Ordonez’s viewing on Monday, the family vowed to continue their fight for justice.
“[The police] didn’t afford my son an opportunity to get away,” Merino said. “It could have been avoided. It was a 25-mile chase.”
On Sunday, co-workers embraced one another at a memorial service at the UPS center in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Flowers, cards and candles were laid on and around Ordonez’s car in the facility’s parking lot.
His death had an impact on other delivery drivers across the United States and overseas.
In the states, the union that represents UPS drivers held a moment of silence at 5 p.m., Monday.
Drivers also gathered in London to take a picture in their colleague’s memory.
The workers each held up cards that spelled, “#ONEUPS RIP Frank Ordonez.”
After the burial on Tuesday, Ordonez’s reiterated their call for justice. They are scheduled to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
“You in the media have to help me bring justice for my son. I want you to be my voice to bring justice,” said Apolinario.
Ordonez’s family said they are hiring legal help. They said they blame the police for his death, and this is just the beginning of their fight.
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