South Florida

Miami Graffiti Artist Struck By Police Car Dies

A Miami graffiti artist who was struck by a police car after he was caught tagging a building has died, police said.

Delbert Gutierrez, 21, died at Jackson Memorial Hospital Tuesday night, police said.

"This was a tragic car accident which has left both families devastated," Miami Police said in a statement Wednesday. "The Miami Police Department offers our condolences and prayers."

Gutierrez, who goes by the name "Demz," was caught tagging a building at Northwest 5th Avenue and 24th Street on Dec. 5, police said. Police said that once he saw flashing lights, Rodriguez ran.

When an officer turned the corner in his unmarked car, Rodriguez jumped out from between two vehicles and was struck, police said. He was taken to Jackson in critical condition with a brain injury.

Police said the car was traveling less than 15 mph when it struck Gutierrez.

Gutierrez's mother blasted the police saying Chief Manuel Orosa called the incident an accident before the speed of the car had been deterined. She texted NBC 6's Angela Pellerano saying, "Orosa hasn't had a problem in talking to the media. However, he has not found the time to give us, the family, a call or come to us in person at Jackson."

Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, issued a statement Wednesday saying they are waiting for the outcome of the investigation.

"No matter how this incident transpired, the focus must be that a life was lost and we must keep his family in prayer throughout this difficult time," Ortiz said.

Gutierrez is the second South Florida graffiti artist to die in the last two years. Israel "Reefa" Hernandez, was killed after a Miami Beach Police officer shocked him with a taser after he was caught tagging a building in August 2013.

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