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MIAMI DADE COUNTY, Florida. — Steadman Stahl, president of the Police Benevolent Association, spoke exclusively with Local 10 News Tuesday after four Miami-Dade police officers were charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a UPS driver who was taken hostage in May 2019.

“These officers had only seconds, minutes to make decisions,” Stahl said. “Our sympathies go out to the families and the innocent people who lost their lives, but our anger should be directed at the two individuals who entered a jewelry store with guns drawn.”

It was December 5, 2019, when two armed robbers, Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill, both then 41robbed a jewelry store in Coral Gables and then led police on a 25-mile chase after hijacking a UPS delivery truck with driver Frank Ordonez inside.

This sparked a two-county chase that ended with nearly two dozen police officers from various agencies firing their weapons at the truck at a busy intersection – Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road.

Miami-Dade County, Pembroke Pines, Miramar and the Florida Highway Patrol – were involved in a shootout as a preliminary investigation revealed that approximately 200 bullets struck the hijacked UPS delivery truck.

The two suspects, Alexander and Hill, died in the aftermath, as did UPS driver Frank Ordonez and 70-year-old Rick Cutshaw, who was hit by a ricochet bullet in his car on his way home from work, investigators confirmed.

Local 10 News heard from Ordonez’s mother, Lucy Apolinario, on Monday after she learned that charges had been filed against the officers.

“I’ve been waiting for a long time,” said Apolinario. “His children need justice.”

After the Broward State Attorney’s Office presented the investigation to the grand jury, four of the Miami-Dade police officers involved face charges and likely severe penalties.

Attorney David Braun, who represents one of the officers, expressed concern about the power of the prosecutor and its impact on police officers.

“As we have seen recently, prosecutors have tremendous power and sometimes that power is placed above the people. As a resident of our county, I am concerned that the people who protect us are being told that if they do not shoot back at a shooter, they will be prosecuted. This case now means those same people will also be prosecuted if they shoot back at the shooter. It seems like a rough time to be a police officer,” Braun said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement delivered its findings to the Broward State Attorney’s Office on September 15, 2021.

The names of the police officers have not yet been released by authorities and it is still unclear what exact charges will be brought against them.

The PBA issued a statement to Local 10 News on Monday that read in part:

“We are extremely disappointed that after nearly five years, these officers are now being charged for something that took them just seconds to decide. The Broward District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting officers for responding to armed individuals, while it just charged an officer for failing to respond in Parkland.”

Local 10 News learned that the four accused officers are expected to turn themselves in by next week.

RELATED: FLORIDA FILES: A deep look into the shooting gone wrong

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