A suspected gangster, 19, has been arrested over the ambush and shooting of two undercover cops in a Miami parking lot.
Terence White, 47, and Charles Wood, 37, both veterans of the Miami-Dade Police Department, were sat in an unmarked car outside a Miami apartment complex on Monday evening when they were shot by at least two men.
Damian Antwan Thompson, 19, has since been arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder and battery of a police officer.
White identified Thompson – a suspected member of street gang 13th Avenue Hot Boyz – as his shooter from a photographic lineup as someone he had arrested earlier this year on weapons charges.
Police say they tracked Thompson down to a Hyatt hotel near Miami International Airport on Tuesday morning where he was arrested.
An arrest report, seen by the Miami Herald, states that Thompson hid underneath bed sheets and then fought with officers, yelling: ‘I’m going to kill both of ya’ll.’
Thompson did not confess but ‘acknowledged knowing Detective White.’
Both White, a 26-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department, and Woods, an 11-year veteran, were injured but survived the attack. Woods, who was grazed in the arm, has since been released from the hospital.
White, who was shot in the leg, remains in hospital in a stable condition.
Authorities say the plainclothes officers, who are part of the Homicide Task Force Gang-Unit, were investigating at the Annie Coleman Apartments on the city’s north side when around six men walked toward the unmarked car and opened fire.
At least eight rounds struck their car, blowing out the front passenger window.
At least one of the officers returned fire through the windscreen. John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade police union, said.
‘They were ambushed and we’re not going to tolerate it,’ Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told Local10.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said fellow officers used a pickup truck to bring their wounded colleagues to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
In a press conference outside the hospital broadcast on Miami Dade’s Facebook page, Perez said on Monday: ‘Today we had a very scary incident. Obviously, we have two of our officers that work in the homicide task force, part of the gang unit, conducting an investigation near the Annie Coleman apartments. The end result of their operation was that they were apparently shot in an ambush-style attack.’
Perez said the shooting was unprovoked and it is not known whether the attackers knew the plainclothes officers were police.
He said: ‘These people, if they are willing to do that to our own officers, are causing havoc in our community, causing chaos in people’s live, putting people below the ground. That’s what these guys are, murders in our community. So let’s work together to find a resolution to what occurred tonight.’
According to CBS Miami, one of the officers returned fire, although it is not known whether they hit the suspect.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez continued: ‘As the director said, this was a brazen act of violence committed against two of our finest officers. They’re there trying to protect us and this community, and they were ambushed and we’re not gonna tolerate it.’
Senator Marco Rubio called for the public’s assistance on Twitter following the attack.
He tweeted: ‘Our prayers with the officers from@MiamiDadePD ambushed last night by thugs. Need public help to find the attackers.’
Perez and Gimenez said anyone with information on the attackers should contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers on (305) 471-TIPS.