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May 17, 2012 — Miami

Undercover detectives with the robbery division stopped two men in a green Kia in West Kendall.

Police said that Heriberto Ortiz, 44, and Sergio Azcuy, 46, were on their way to steal cocaine from a drug stash house, a plan put in motion by an informant working with federal agents. The Miami-Dade detectives used a fake traffic accident investigation to make the two men stop.

When they approached and told Ortiz and Azcuy to raise their hands, Ortiz complied but Azcuy reached for something, authorities said. Officer Fernando Sacasas saw "a dark-colored object" in his hand, assumed it was a gun and fired two shots, killing Azcuy, according to reports. There was no mention of a weapon in a later search warrant for the Kia or in the prosecutor's memo. Read more

The search warrant mentioned a cell phone found "in hand," but does not say if Azcuy was also armed, according to the Miami Herald. Ortiz pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

This was the 50th police shooting in Florida in 2012.

One day earlier, one officer shot one person in Loxahatchee Groves .

Six days later, three officers shot one person in Fort Pierce .

2 ways this case compares to others

  1. Police thought Azcuy, who was unarmed, was reaching for a weapon before shooting him. Thirty-eight unarmed people were shot when police said they saw them reach for something.
  2. Azcuy was shot during an undercover sting. That was true in less than four percent of cases.

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