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FL Officer Involved in Two Fatal Shootings In Two Weeks

FL Officer Involved in Two Fatal Shootings In Two Weeks

The Miami Herald via YellowBrix

August 21, 2010

MIAMI – A Miami police officer and a federal agent fired on two armed men who pointed weapons at officers in Liberty City early Friday, killing one, authorities said.

The Miami officer, Ricardo Martinez, had just returned to work following another fatal shooting — that of a 16-year-old youth in Overtown during a robbery sting.

The federal officer was not named.

It was the fourth time in six weeks Miami police had been involved in a fatal shooting.

“He is a very good officer,‘’ Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito said of Martinez, an 11-year veteran. "He was cleared to go back to work, and there’s no problem.’’

Less than two weeks ago, police said Joell Lee Johnson pointed a gun at an officer posing as a Chinese food delivery man during a sting after a similar robbery a day earlier.

Martinez fired, fatally wounding Johnson, whose funeral is Saturday.

Miami police policy gives officers three days off after a shooting. A psychologist evaluates the officer before the police chief gives the final clearance to return to full duty.

Police identified the dead man as Tarnorris Tyrell Gaye, 19. Records show Gaye has been arrested several times on charges including grand theft of a vehicle, battery and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Late Friday, officers charged Stephen Battle, 18, the man they say was with Gaye, with trespass and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer.

Miami police Cmdr. Delrish Moss said a man stopped plainclothes officers early Friday, saying he had just been robbed by two men on bicycles, one with a shotgun.

A Miami police arrest report gives this account:

Two plainclothes officers — including a Miami officer and an agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement — in a white pickup shortly after midnight spotted two men riding bicycles west on Northwest 58th Street in the middle of the road.

Authorities said the two agencies were teaming up in Liberty City in an operation aimed at breaking up gangs and getting guns off the street.

The officers turned on red and blue flashing lights and yelled for the men to ``stop.‘’ They didn’t stop.

According to the officers, one man ``was leaning and riding in what appeared to be an awkward position,’’ on the bicycle, the report said.

The man, later identified as Gaye, ``pulled a shotgun from underneath his shirt and from the side of his pants. He then lifted the weapon up pointing it towards the police vehicle…’’ the report said.

The weapon was later described as a Mossberg 500A 12-gauge shotgun.

Battle ``pulled a handgun from his waist and pointed it at the officers,’’ the report continues.

Both officers fired, the report said. Battle fled.

One officer continued shooting at Gaye while the other chased after Battle.

Officers found Battle about three hours later behind a home in the 1400 block of Northwest 58th Terrace. A .38-caliber Smith and Wesson was nearby.

Gaye, shot several times, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities do not know if both officers’ shots hit Gaye.

ICE spokesman Temple Black confirmed in a statement that his agents were doing surveillance with Miami police when the shooting occurred.

He would not release the name of the agent.

On Friday morning, 10 bright green cones were clustered in an oval on the ground in front of Willie Stephenson’s yellow house near Northwest 14th Avenue.

Stephenson, 54, said he heard at least seven shots. He waited a minute, then came outside the house and saw the body of a man on the ground on his back.

He said two bicycles lay on the ground, along with a shotgun.

Earnest Sims, Battle’s father, rushed to the scene Friday morning after hearing about the shooting involving his son.

“I’m just going to continue to pray,‘’ said Sims. ``That’s all I can do until we find out more information. I just thank God it wasn’t him who was killed. I feel sorry for the young man who was killed.’’


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