Hijacked UPS truck led Florida police on massive chase that ended in shootout

Posted at 8:20 PM, Dec 05, 2019

An armed robbery at a Florida jewelry store Thursday led to the hijacking of a UPS truck and a massive police chase that ended in a fatal shootout in Broward County.

At least one woman was hurt in the robbery at Regent Jewelers along Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, in neighboring Miami-Dade County, Coral Gables police said.

Police in Miramar, where the chase ended, said there were “multiple fatalities” at the scene. Police said there were no officer fatalities.

At one point during the chase, the line of emergency vehicles chasing the UPS truck stretched for approximately half a mile on roads behind the truck.

The first call police received was a silent holdup alarm from the jewelry store at 4:17 p.m., Coral Gables Police Chief Edward Hudak Jr. said. At least two suspects left the store, Hudak said, and the UPS truck driver was then taken hostage and the truck raced away.

Thirty seconds later, police received a call of shots fired at the Coral Gables City Hall, believed to have been fired by the escaping suspects, Hudak said. A bullet struck the building, which went into lockdown.

The truck led police on a long chase, hopping curbs, doing U-turns and maneuvering around other vehicles and police. There appeared to be dozens of police officers and vehicles in pursuit of the UPS truck as it sped along multi-lane roads and through intersections. By the time the chase ended, more than 40 emergency vehicles were stopped with lights flashing behind the brown truck.

The incident came to an end when the UPS truck encountered stopped traffic at an intersection. Police then exited their vehicles and approached the truck, weapons drawn, even using stopped cars as moving shields so they could get in better position.

The truck driver left the steering wheel shortly before gunshots were fired at 5:35 p.m. As seen in live helicopter footage from CNN affiliate WSVN, muzzle flashes were visible from inside the truck, then smoke.

It was unclear whether the first shots came from inside the truck or from police.

After the shooting, police quickly surrounded the scene. Two people lay on the ground outside the truck. One was taken away on a stretcher and into an ambulance.

“This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what dangerous people will do to avoid capture,” Hudak told reporters.

Hudak said none of his officers was hurt.

UPS said in a statement that it is trying to learn the status of its personnel.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating, Hudak said.