Attorneys for the family of a motorist killed at a busy South Florida intersection during a shootout between police and two delivery-truck hijackers said they're investigating the incident that led to his death.
The law firm Morgan & Morgan, which is representing the relatives of 70-year-old Richard Cutshaw, held a news conference Tuesday to discuss their investigation.
"It's my personal opinion that the death of Mr. Cutshaw could have been avoided, and so now we will seek to hold the responsible parties accountable," attorney Matt Morgan said.
Cutshaw, a union representative, was waiting in rush hour traffic on Dec. 5 when officers ran up and opened fire from behind the cars of innocent bystanders. The officers were aiming at a UPS truck that had been hijacked by two cousins who had robbed a Coral Gables jewelry store and led police on a wild rush hour chase into Broward County.
Also killed were the UPS truck's driver, Frank Ordonez, and the two suspects, Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill.
"I can guarantee you that this particular fact pattern will be a case study for law enforcement for decades to come about what not to do when you end a chase in a busy intersection," Morgan said.
Cutshaw was a representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Florida and worked as a field representative for the Government Supervisors Association of Florida, according to his family.
The police union disputes any assertion that that officers at the scene acted improperly.
"If there’s an active shooter, police officers are trained to eliminate that threat and it’s basically go eliminate that threat at any cost to your personal safety and that’s exactly what the officers who responded to these active shooters were doing.” Broward PBA president Rod Skirvin said.
Attorneys say Cutshaw's family members want answers about what happened and why.
"There was plenty of time and plenty of opportunities to have totally prevented this," attorney Nick Panagakis said. "We need to focus not on how this ended but why it began in the first place and why it lasted for one hour and 23 miles.”
Authorities are still investigating the shooting.