MIAMI (WSVN) – A suspected carjacker died, Friday morning, after a standoff along the Miami River led to a police-involved shooting.
According to Miami-Dade Police, 52-year-old Ernesto Padron was shot and treated on scene. However, he did not make it.
7SkyForce HD flew over the standoff where Padron could be seen hanging on to a fence along the Miami River, as officers had their guns drawn and tried to get him to surrender.
In a news conference Friday morning, Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said the suspect made threatening comments towards law enforcement, saying he “will not go down easy.”
Officers had Padron surrounded both on land and water. However, he refused to cooperate, said police.
According to officials, it all started when police served a warrant at a Northwest Miami-Dade home. Police believed Padron was involved in a Sept. 29 Wells Fargo bank robbery.
Police said Padron grabbed a gun and fled when officers began to close in on him. “We were not able to apprehend him right there, at the residence, armed with a firearm,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez in a news conference. “He was able to run to a nearby neighborhood and do a carjacking.”
He carjacked a brown BMW in Miami Gardens when the chase ensued.
Police caught up with Padron, but he raced passed officers as he drove through flooded streets.
7SkyForce HD hovered over another scene, along Northwest 21st Street and 14th Avenue in the City of Miami, just before 8 a.m., as the suspect bailed out of the BMW, pulled a gun on a woman and carjacked her black Mazda SUV.
Minerva Castellanos, the Mazda’s owner, said she was on her way to work at the Veterans Administration Hospital, when she was stopped by the subject. “He opened the door and said, ‘Get out the freaking car, or I’ll shoot you,’” she said.
The subject continued to flee before ditching the Mazda underneath the 27th Avenue bridge, where City of Miami Police and Miami-Dade Police set up a perimeter.
Kurt Undorfer was there the moment the suspected carjacker arrived and abandoned the SUV. The man was wearing a black T-shirt, which police said Padron was also wearing.
Police mistook Undorfer for the suspect but later realized he wasn’t their guy. “I was watching Channel 7 News, and I saw the carjacker stopped under the bridge,” he said, “so I was running over here to check it out. I didn’t see anything. I think he probably jumped in the river or something. When I was walking back, all these cops came with guns pointed at me. I was like, ‘It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me! Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!’”
According to Police, Padron jumped in the Miami River near 20th Street and North River Drive.
Authorities combed the area until they came across the subject, leading to a standoff that lasted about 40 minutes before police decided to de-escalate the situation.
“We began to pull back our uniform personnel and bring in tactical personnel to include our hostage negotiators,” said Perez. “Our hostage negotiators did begin to communicate with the individual, who was still armed at the time.”
Perez added that the subject did not drop the weapon, which led to a police-involved shooting. Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the shooting.
“He had made some threats. He wasn’t intending on giving up, and I don’t think he ever got to a point where he even thought about giving up,” said Perez.
Padron was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers or civilians were injured.
Police said Padron was also on house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor during the incident.
City of Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes confirmed two Miami officers were involved in the shooting.
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