Suspect arrested after shots fired at SW Miami-Dade café, brief chase

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police arrested a man after, they said, he opened fire at a café in Southwest Miami-Dade before he led officers on a brief chase.

Miami-Dade Police officers responded to a call about shots fired at the Hammocks Town Center, located along Southwest 104th Street and Hammocks Boulevard, near Killian Parkway, just after 9 a.m., Thursday.

According to authorities, a man stepped out of his white Ford Explorer at the shopping plaza and fired shots at Miwi Cafe.

“Shortly after 9:10 a.m., a subject approached in a vehicle. He exited his car, shot at the business, got back in his car and began to flee the scene,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Angel Rodriguez.

“I heard two gunshots while I was getting my breakfast, and I just turned around, and I saw a man in a firing position,” said witness J.D. Betancourt.

Betancourt said he feared for his life, as he and others fled to safety.

“We ran over down that direction, and the Publix employees started calling us into the warehouse,” he said.

7News cameras captured a bullet hole in the window of the café.

“Fortunately, no one was injured,” said Rodriguez.

“No amount of money and no amount of anything is worth the life of a human being, so thank God everybody is OK,” said Kened, the owner of Miwi Cafe.

Investigators said a witness helped officers track down the suspect.

“A witness did obtain a description of the vehicle and actually followed the vehicle for a short period of time before the officers were able to identitfy it and follow it,” said Rodriguez.

After a brief pursuit, the driver of the vehicle bailed out in the area of Southwest 157th Avenue and 136th Street.

Cellphone video captured by a witness showed officers taking the suspect down.

7SkyForce HD hovered over the scene where the suspect could be spotted sitting on the ground with a bandage wrapped around his head.

He was treated on scene by paramedics for a minor head injury.

Several police cruisers could also be seen surrounding the Ford.

Felix Varela Senior High School, also located in The Hammocks, was temporarily put on lockdown.

Back at the shopping plaza, a woman who showed up shortly before noon said the suspect is her father, and she was there to figure out what happened.

“I’m searching for him,” she said in Spanish.

Police are now working to determine what led to the man to fire shots at the café.

“The big focus now is on finding out why this happened,” said Rodriguez.

The café has temporarily shut down, but Kened said he hopes to reopen soon.

The owner believes the suspect may have been a previous customer at the café.

As of Thursday night, police have not identified the 52-year-old suspect.

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