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Witnesses: Miami cop shot homeless man in front of dozens of kids

The man was taken in critical condition to a nearby hospital.


Dell Cameron


Posted on Jun 11, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 2:54 pm CDT

A Miami police officer fatally shot a reportedly homeless man Thursday morning in front of dozens of children, multiple eyewitnesses say.

The victim, described as a homeless man frequently seen at Gibson Park in the neighborhood of Overtown, was reportedly waving a metal object. Witnesses said he was confronted by two police officers. After refusing to put the object down, one of the officers fired five times.

The man was taken from the scene in critical condition to the nearby Jackson Memorial Hospital where he succumbed, police said. 

Witnesses at the scene told reporters that the victim did not move aggressively towards the officers, but had refused to drop the metal object.

“He was a homeless man, wasn’t bothering nobody,” one woman told Local 10. “The man walks around, we see him every morning with his stick, the same little stick that he had in his hand when the police officer shot him five times.”

During a brief press conference, Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes confirmed that an officer had discharged his weapon, but said it was too early to provide other details.

“We have anywhere between 40 and 60 witnesses that we have to interview, some of them being kids,” Llanes said. There were reportedly around 50 children attending a YMCA event at the park during the shooting.

Llanes added he did not know the trajectory of the officer’s bullets. 

As is routine, the officer who discharged his weapon has been placed on administrative leave. 

This story is developing and will be updated when more information becomes available. 

Photo by Bob B. Brown/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Jun 11, 2015, 3:34 pm CDT