James Loftus gave an emotional press conference Thursday afternoon, telling reporters: "two angels from our police department were murdered... and I'm angry about it."
Two Miami-Dade Police officers were killed during a shootout with a murder suspect in Miami Thursday morning as they attempted to serve an arrest warrant on a violent fugitive.
The suspect was killed in the shootout, which happened in Liberty City around 11 a.m. in the area of Northwest 7th Ave. and 69th St.
The male officer, Roger Castillo was pronounced dead at the scene and a second officer, a female officer, Amanda Haworth, was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Haworth, a 23-year-veteran, underwent surgery but died while she was being operated on. She was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after 1 p.m. Haworth is survived by a child.
"Our worst nightmare is visited on us again today. We lost Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth. They were murdered," said Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus said. "Two angels from the Police Department were murdered today and I am angry about that."
A third officer Diedre Beecher had a knee injury but is expected to be released from the hospital today. Castillo was a 21-year veteran of the force. He had three children.
The officers were shot by 23-year-old Johnny Sims, who Loftus described as a career criminal who was wanted for an October murder in Miami. Loftus said he had a rap sheet five-pages long and had just been released from prison on robbery and drug charges.
Sims was shot and killed by a fourth officer, Oscar Plasencia, who was also on the scene.
The officers were part of a four-person warrant squad that also worked with the U.S. Marshals
"This unit is very well-trained, very well-armed, and highly protects itself," said Mayor Carlos Alvarez, a former police officer. "So they know what they're doing. It was just a tragic incident that we see here too often in Miami-Dade, of a violent suspect who could care less."
Other people were in the house with Simms and none of them are considered suspects, but they are being interviewed as witnesses by police.
The last time two officers were killed in the line of duty on the same day and same case, was Nov. 28, 1988, back when the agency was still Metro Dade Police. Officers Richard Boles and David Stralzkowski were killed with their own guns during a struggle with parolee Charlie Street.
Schools in the area, including Jesse McCrary and Thena Crowder Elementary, were placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Residents who live in the area said they heard several gunshots and one described it as "chaos."