What to Know
- A Hollywood Police officer was shot and killed during an altercation with a suspect late Sunday night, officials said
- The officer was identified as 28-year-old Yandy Chirino, a member of the department since 2017
- The suspect, 18-year-old Jason Banegas, has an extensive arrest history and is expected to face first-degree murder and other charges, officials said
A police officer was shot and killed during an altercation with an 18-year-old suspect in a Hollywood neighborhood late Sunday night, in what the city's police chief called "one of the darkest moments in our department's history."
Officers had responded to calls of a suspicious incident around 10:30 p.m. near the 4100 block of N. Hills Drive when there was some sort of altercation with the suspect, Hollywood Police spokesperson Deanna Bettineschi said.
The officer was shot and rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He was later identified as 28-year-old Yandy Chirino, a member of the department since 2017.
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"Last night, Officer Chirino left the safety of his home, came to work to protect his community, and tragically will not be going home to his loved ones this morning," Hollywood Police Chief Chris O'Brien said at a news conference Monday morning. "Officer Chirino gave his life honorably and without hesitation protecting those in our community."
O'Brien said other officers were able to take a suspect into custody, and recovered a firearm at the scene.
The suspect, 18-year-old Jason Banegas, has an extensive arrest history and is expected to face first-degree murder, armed burglary, grand theft of a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer and other charges, O'Brien said.
On Monday afternoon, officers escorted an ambulance carrying Chirino's body in a procession from the hospital to the Broward County medical examiner's office.
O'Brien said Chirino had been recognized multiple times for his outstanding work effort, had received five supervisor's recommendations, and had been named Officer of the Month in June 2020.
"He was a great officer and will leave a lasting impact on our community," O'Brien said. "Today, Officer Chirino will always be remembered for his selfless actions and his sacrifice to our community."
There was a massive police presence at the scene late Sunday and into Monday. Officers from Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale and other cities in Broward County had responded to the scene for assistance.
"I would like to thank our surrounding agencies who stepped in without hesitation in one of the darkest moments in our department's history," O'Brien said.
Footage showed officers with guns drawn and K-9's searching the normally quiet neighborhood. Crime scene tape was closing off the area throughout the morning.
No other injuries were reported in the incident, which remains under investigation.
Multiple neighbors said Banegas had been seen going through the neighborhood on a bicycle trying to open car doors. One resident said a surveillance camera at his home captured Banegas around 10:15 p.m., not long before the altercation.
"He did get in to one of our cars, it was left unlocked, it was just washed yesterday and we neglected to lock it," David Feigenbaum said. "He rifled through the glove compartment and really there wasn't anything there for him to take actually."
A bicycle was still at the scene Monday afternoon near some evidence markers.
Flags were lowered to half-staff outside the Hollywood Police Department Monday as the community mourned the loss of Chirino.
"This is indeed a sad day for our entire community and in particular for our Hollywood Police Department family," Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said.