Hijacked UPS Driver Killed in Horrific Police Shootout Was Doting Father of 2 Little Girls
Frank Ordonez Leaves Behind 2 Little Girls After Being Gunned Down in Police Shootout
Frank Ordonez was a conscientious employee and a loving father of two young girls, his distraught family told Inside Edition Friday.
The UPS worker was on his first solo run as a driver for the delivery service when he was hijacked and then killed in hail of gunfire between jewelry store robbers and police. The shootout followed a high-speed chase through two counties during rush hour in southern Florida.
Some 19 officers from five law enforcement agencies shot at the carjacked truck when the two suspects opened fire, CBS Miami reported. The horrific shootout was broadcast live by news crews on the chaotic scene, as commuters cowered in fear and bystanders ran for cover.
Ordonez, 27, had been filling in for a sick colleague in Coral Gables, his brother said. Grief-stricken Roy Ordonez established a GoFundMe page for his slain brother, saying he was raising money to pay school costs for his nieces, ages 3 and 6, and to hire a lawyer. He was critical of the firefight that erupted amid civilians trying to make their way home at the end of Thursday's work day.
"My brother Frank Ordonez was killed by police officers ... when two robbers hijacked the UPS truck he was driving," Roy wrote. "They kidnapped my brother and took him on a high-speed chase, when they came to a stop he was gun down like a criminal by the Florida police. He didn't deserve to die the way he did."
Stepfather Joe Merino watched the violence unfold on his television in disbelief. "These officers went home last night to their families," he told Inside Edition. "Frank never made it home."
Frank's sister, Genevieve, was inconsolable. "My heart is broken because I won't see my big brother anymore. My big brother!" she said, weeping.
Social media reverberated with video of the carnage that left the UPS driver, the two suspects and a commuter in a nearby car dead at the scene.
Many posts were critical of police returning fire while surrounded by bystanders.
"This is terrorism by the police," wrote one person.
"Send your officers back to training," wrote another.
The violence began Thursday at about 4 p.m. when two men robbed Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables, police said. The suspects and the store owner exchanged gunfire, with bullets hitting the windows of City Hall, across the street. An unidentified female employee was injured and taken to a nearby hospital, police said.
Shortly thereafter, the men, identified by the FBI Friday as Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill, both 41, abducted Frank as he unloaded packages, forcing him into the truck and driving away as police cruisers gave chase.
News video shows the truck weaving through traffic lanes for several miles and then coming to a stop at red light. Muzzle flashes and heavy gunfire is seen and heard on the videos.
Multiple agencies, including the FBI, are investigating the shootout. "We have just begun to process the crime scene, as you can imagine," said FBI spokesman George Piro. "There are multiple crime scenes."
Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak told reporters, "This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what people will do to avoid capture
"In matters like this, it is just difficult for all of us, not just in law enforcement, but also in society," he said. "This is what we sign up to do, but these people don't," he said, referring to the victims. Police had no choice but to open fire, they said. It is too early to determine who shot the driver, authorities said.
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