HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - An investigation is underway after an overnight police-involved shooting in Hialeah resulted in a man fatally shot and an officer wounded by gunfire.
Officials said they were forced to fire their weapons when they tried to pull over the driver, 53-year-old Leonardo Cano. He refused to pull over, took police on a chase and fired at officers, they said.
A family is now emotional when they found out their loved one was killed during the confrontation.
According to Miami-Dade Police, at around 11 p.m., Tuesday, undercover officers tried to pull Cano over for a previous domestic-related abduction in the area of West 68th Street and Second Court.
“During the search, our K9 unit and our tactical unit responded and had an encounter with the subject while searching for him,” said Miami-Dade Police spokesperson Freddy Ramirez.
Authorities said they found Cano inside his vehicle, at which point they tried to conduct a traffic stop. However, the suspect, who has a lengthy criminal history, tried to flee the scene and a short chase ensued.
The chase came to a crashing end at West 65th Street and Second Avenue, when Cano lost control of his vehicle. As officers approached the man’s vehicle, he got out and opened fire with an assault rifle, said police.
Detectives returned fire, and during the exchange, a 32-year-old officer was hit. That police officer was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital. He has since been treated and released.
“Thank goodness that our officer is OK and nobody else was hurt,” said Ramirez.
Relatives of Cano said it sounds out of character for him to shoot. “That doesn’t sound anything like him. If that’s what you’re asking, that doesn’t sound like him,” said one woman.
According to police, the suspect fled the scene a second time on foot. A perimeter was immediately set up along 65th Street near West Second Avenue.
Several agencies, including Hialeah and Opa-locka Police Departments, assisted in the search.
The suspect was eventually located by members of the MDPD Special Response Team. As officers approached, a confrontation ensued resulting in shots being fired.
Cano was struck and pronounced dead on the scene. “As they attempted to take him into custody, a struggle ensued,” said Ramirez. “Shots were fired and the subject is deceased.”
As a result, Northwest 119th Street was shutdown in both directions, between West Second Court and Palm Avenue. West 65th Street has reopened after being shut down for more than 12 hours.
Cano’s family described the volatile relationship he had with the woman he was seeing. 7News cameras captured police talking to a woman, who neighbors identified as Cano’s girlfriend.
His family is now wondering what led up to this. “When I tell you something, not to be with someone, why do you be with the wrong person?” said a family member.
Another family member said she’s going to dig further. “Not sure how the story is, but I am gonna find an attorney to investigate more about the case,” she said, “because I’m pretty sure he would not shoot a cop just like that.”
Police said they recovered an assault rifle and handgun from Cano.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating this officer-involved shooting.
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