Man brandishing machete killed by Miami-Dade police

Miami HeraldOctober 8, 2011 

MIAMI — A man wearing only his underwear and wielding a machete was shot and killed Friday by police after the assailant attacked two people, including his ex-girlfriend, and threatened a Miami-Dade police officer.

The man, who was not identified by police, died at the scene in northwest Miami-Dade. The two victims were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital. They are listed in stable but critical condition.

Police and witnesses said the incident began early Friday when the man visited the home of his former girlfriend, Angela Heath, 53, to help fix her roof. Heath later told police her ex-boyfriend grew agitated and refused to leave, forcing her to go find another place to stay.

Heath said she contacted police for help, but she was told they could not take any action.

Heath and another male then returned by car to her home near Northwest 181st Street and 52nd Avenue, where they were confronted by the ex-boyfriend. Wearing just his underwear and with a machete in his hand, the man first attacked Heath’s male friend as he sat in the car. Heath then tried to run away.

The assailant then ran after Heath and caught up with her near her home. Witnesses saw the attack on Heath and attempted to stop the ex-boyfriend.

Police arrived and pursued the ex-boyfriend, who ran from the scene, leaving the machete behind. He was found by police a few blocks away at Northwest 181st Terrace and 54th Avenue, at around 1:30 p.m.

Police say the man, who was unarmed, reportedly lunged at one police officer, who then shot him.

Late Friday, Miami-Dade Det. Javier Baez said in a statement that “one of the responding officers observed the subject walking away from the residence with both hands inside of his waistband.”

“The officer then gave loud verbal commands to stop at which time subject lunged and charged the officer,” he said. “The officer then discharged her firearm killing the subject.”

John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association, defended the police officer’s actions against the assailant.

“The police followed proper protocol in this case, we don’t have the luxury of officers to follow her to her house to confront what we think may happen,” Rivera said. “Police came and pursued the individual a couple blocks away — he presented himself in a menacing way — and she [the officer] was in fear for her life, and was forced to do what no police officer wants to do, and that’s discharge her weapon.”

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service