Two dozen Miami Dade, Florida police officers opened fire on a blue Volvo that had crashed into the backyard of a townhouse on December 10. They fired 377 rounds in less than 30 seconds.
The barrage of shots came in two separate volleys. Stuck between a light pole and a tree, the two unarmed passengers in the car were helpless as 50 bullets rained down on them a minute after the crash.
After two minutes of quiet, in which witnesses testify the passengers were still alive, the officers released another round of bullets. Both men were killed.
The 23 officers fired at least 377 rounds, CBS4 News reports.
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Bullets also hit other cars, fence posts, businesses, and a townhouse where a baby slept in a crib and a 12-year-old dove for cover.
“It was like the Wild Wild West, man, crazy,” said Anthony Vandiver, who barely managed to leave his home through the back door when the shooting began. “Shooting just wild; shooting all over the place. Bullets could have come through the window. Anything could have happened man. They weren’t thinking, they weren’t thinking at all.”
Two of the officers suffered ruptured eardrums from the deafening gunfire. Two more were struck in the crossfire, one in the arm and one in the head in a graze that could easily have been fatal.
The officers were reportedly on a mission to avenge Miami Dade Police Officer Saul Rodriguez. The driver of the blue Volvo, Adrian Montesano, had robbed a Walgreens drug store at gunpoint earlier that night and then shot three officers including Rodriguez, all of whom survived. He fled the scene in the officer’s patrol car, exchanging it for his grandmother’s Volvo.
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But when the cops caught up with Montesano, he was unarmed, as was his companion Corsini Valdes, possibly an accomplice in the robbery.
Vandiver swore that the driver tried to put his hands up when the officers told him to.
“They were saying put your hands up, and the guys were still moving after they shot maybe 50, 60 times,” Vandiver recalled. “And the guy tried to put his hands up. And as soon as he put his hands up, it erupted again. And that was it for them. That guy tried his best to give up.”