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May 12, 2012 — Miami

Early on the morning of May 12, 2012, South Miami police officers responded to report that Orestes Fernandez had been spotted.

Fernandez, 42, and his teenage son were suspected of taking a Rolex watch from a jewelry store. His estranged wife, who lived in a shelter for domestic violence victims, saw the surveillance footage and called police.

Sgt. Jesus Aguilar located the vehicle in a parking lot and called for back up. Read more

Fernandez drove away from Aguilar. After a brief chase, Officers Agustin Rodriguez and Chris Cosio boxed in Fernandez's vehicle. They also tried to stun him with a Taser, but Fernandez kept driving, striking both police vehicles and injuring Cosio.

Several agencies joined the chase until Fernandez lost control and stopped.

When Fernandez tried to back up at high speed, Rodriguez and Miami-Dade police Officers Eugene Szolis and Antonio Llaneras all fired. Fernandez was shot three times and died.

An autopsy later found that Fernandez had cocaine and other drugs in his system.

This was the 48th police shooting in Florida in 2012.

Three days earlier, one officer shot one person in Jacksonville .

Four days later, one officer shot one person in Loxahatchee Groves .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Fernandez was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  2. Fernandez did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Fernandez was shot after injuring an officer. That was true in 8 percent of shootings.
  4. Fernandez and 94 other people who police shot reportedly drove at an officer.
  5. Fernandez was fleeing from police or a crime scene, which is true in a quarter of shootings.

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