Police Kill 4 Masked Men, Including Informant

Four men were killed in a police-involved shooting in Miami-Dade County

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Four masked men were accused of torturing their victims during home invasions. (Published Friday, Jul 1, 2011)

    Authorities on Friday were investigating a police-involved shooting in southwest Miami-Dade County that left four men dead.

    Miami-Dade Police said officers were on a stakeout Thursday night, waiting for the four men to arrive at a house located at SW 189 Ave. and 216 St. in southwest Miami-Dade County.

    Authorities said they expected the men to commit some type of crime but did not give details on the criminal activity. The men arrived wearing ski masks and armed with weapons, authorities said.

    There was a confrontation with police, and the men were fatally shot around 9:30 p.m., authorities said. No officers were injured.

    The shooting capped the end of what police described as a lengthy investigation into a group of individuals who targeted marijuana grow houses. Det. Javier Baez said the suspects at times misidentified the residences and proceeded with targeting, and torturing innocent individuals.

    "These are career criminals," Baez said.

    Roger Gonzalez Valdez, 52; Rosendo Betancourt Garcia and Jorge Luis Lemus, both 39; and another unidentified man were killed in the gunfight, police said.

    Roger Gonzalez Jr. was taken into custody. No charges have been filed against him yet.

    Garcia was described as a cooperating defendant by police and tipped authorities off on the gun-toting suspects.

    Police said he was also armed and wearing a mask although he was instructed not to go to the site with the suspects.

    Gricell Perez said Garcia was her son-in-law. She said he came to drop off his three kids on Thursday, telling her, "Please watch the kids, I'm going to help the police on a case."

    She said he had been working the last seven months as a construction worker.

    Early Friday morning the street was still cordoned off with police tape.

    Truck driver Harry Hernandez has been trying to get through to the farm down the street to pick up fruit since Thursday night . He was supposed to transport it to Ocala on Thursday night.

    "I just want to get out of here," he said. "I'm tired. I'm hungry."