FBI identifies 2 Miami-Dade County men responsible for deadly South Florida robbery, chase, shootout

27-year-old UPS driver among those killed
Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 05, 2019

MIRAMAR, Fla. — (WTVJ/CNN) - A high-speed police pursuit of a hijacked UPS truck that began with an armed robbery and shootout at a jewelry shop in Coral Gables ended in a hail of gunfire, killing four people in Miramar Thursday evening.

The FBI on Friday identified the two suspects responsible for the robbery, kidnapping and shootout as Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, both of Miami-Dade County.

RELATED: PHOTO GALLERY | UPS driver killed was covering for another driver | 'Extremely terrifying': Witnesses caught in crossfire describe chaos of South Florida shooting

The incident began with a robbery at Regent Jewelers at 386 Miracle Mile just after 4 p.m., Coral Gables police said.

Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak said two armed suspects exchanged gunfire with a jewelry shop worker, with some bullets hitting city hall across the street. Footage showed multiple police officers at the scene and several evidence markers on the ground.

Hudak said a woman who works at the jewelry shop was injured in the incident, but no one else was injured. She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Shortly after the shootout, the suspects abducted a UPS driver at gunpoint and fled in the driver's truck. The driver had been making a delivery nearby, Hudak said.

Authorities began a pursuit of the UPS truck, which sped up Interstate 75 into Broward County.

After exiting I-75, the truck made its way through Pembroke Pines and Miramar with dozens of officers in pursuit. Officials said the suspects fired at officers while trying to evade authorities.

When the truck stopped in traffic at a light near Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road, the suspects opened fire on officers, which resulted in an exchange of gunfire between law enforcement and the suspects, George Piro of the FBI said in a news conference Thursday night.

UPS driver was father of 2 girls

Piro confirmed that the two suspects died, as well as the UPS driver and a bystander who was shot where the chase ended in Miramar.

None of the people involved have been identified by authorities, but the UPS driver's family identified him as 27-year-old Frank Ordonez of Hialeah.

Ordonez's father, Joe Merino, said he was watching the pursuit on television with other family members and didn't realize his son was in the truck.

"It was hard for me to swallow, a real hard pill to swallow," Merino said. "When my 15-year-old saw it, she collapsed."

27-year-old UPS driver identified after 4 killed in South Florida shootout

Merino said his son normally works a route in Coconut Grove and it was his first day working by himself on the route in Coral Gables. Hours after the deadly incident, he spoke about the suspects who abducted his son.

"I understand they're both dead, they were shot dead, and I'm not a violent person, I'm a rational person, I reason things out, but from one one human being to another, I'm glad they're dead," Merino said.

Ordonez, the father of two young girls, was "outgoing and happy," his brother, Roy Ordonez, told CNN. "You never knew when he was sad."

Frank Ordonez liked to fish and to play basketball and video games, his brother said. But "most of all," he said, "what Frank really liked to do is spend time with his daughters," ages 3 and 6 years old.

When the hijacking unfolded, Ordonez was covering the route for a driver who had called out, his brother said.

"The armed suspects engaged law enforcement, opened fire, there was exchanged fire between law enforcement and the suspects and unfortunately the suspects are now deceased but two additional innocent civilians were also deceased," Piro said.

Multiple agencies are investigating the incident along with the FBI, Piro said.

"We have just began to process the crime scene, as you can imagine this is going to be a very complicated crime scene," Piro said. "There are multiple other crime scenes, the jewelry store, the location where the carjacking-kidnapping occurred."

UPS released a statement late Thursday saying they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

"We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence," Matt O'Connor, a UPS spokesman, said in a statement. "We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in this incident."

Story courtesy of our news partner at NBC Miami.