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Authorities said they caught Leon Harrigan, who was involved in an officer-involved shooting in southwest Miami-Dade Friday morning, after a manhunt that lasted nearly six hours. Police spokesman Detective Alvaro Zabaleta and Wendy Carlson, who lives in the area, discuss the case.
A suspect who was involved in an officer-involved shooting in southwest Miami-Dade Friday morning and led police on an hours-long search has been caught, authorities said.
Miami-Dade Police said the incident began at about 6 a.m. when an officer stopped a suspected stolen truck.
When the officer left his car, Leon Harrigan, 48, who was driving a black Ford F-150, tried to hit him with the vehicle, officials said. The officer opened fire as the truck sped away.
The truck crashed a short time later in the area of Southwest 232nd Street and Southwest 187th Avenue, and Harrigan fled on foot, officials said.
A perimeter was set up in the area and a SWAT team, police helicopter and K-9 dogs were called in to search for the suspect. The SWAT team officers rolled through farmland riding on the trunks of police cruisers which crept past flowers and rows of vegetables.
Police officers from as far away as Hialeah helped search a 1-square-mile area of Redland.
Harrigan was later captured sometime around noon hiding in a backyard, police said. He was taken to a nearby hospital for a leg injury, officials said.
Police advised people living within a one-mile radius of the area to stay inside their homes – but Sammy Patel said that he could not get through to either his home or fruit shipping business this morning, while officers swept through his farmland.
"It's six hours of madness," said Patel, who has lived on SW 232nd Street since 1988. He said that police surprised his elderly parents.
"Police officers barged into my house, my parents were having a tea in the morning," he said. "They were scared."
Neighbor Wendy Carlson didn't see anything, but she did hear the commotion from her home on SW 232nd Street. She said that she had to go a different way to work – and when she returned for lunch, police were still searching.
"They had the helicopters up and running," she said.
Blood was found inside Harrigan's truck but it's unknown if the suspect was wounded in the shooting or the crash, police said.
Harrigan, who is charged with burglary, had previous warrants for fleeing and eluding and grand theft. More charges are pending, investigators said.