A Miami-Dade police officer was shot dead and three others were wounded when a traffic stop went bad this morning.
The slain officer has not been identified. The only wounded officer identified was Tomas Tunidor, 37. His injuries were characterized as among the least serious of the three wounded officers. The Miami Herald reported that a female officer’s leg was shattered during the attack. At presstime, she was in surgery.
Reports say that the officers, who were on a burglary detail, stopped a man for “driving erratically” through a southwest Dade County neighborhood around 11 a.m. When they approached the car, he opened fire with a large-caliber weapon believed to be an AK-47.
Police originally made an erroneous identification of the shooter based on a witness’ account. The accused man, Kevin Wehner, was cleared after police discovered that he was in Jacksonville hundreds of miles from Miami at the time of the shooting. Police believe the witness may have a connection to the actual suspected shooter, 25-year-old Shawn Sherwin LaBeet. The suspect is also wanted for a aggravated assault in Broward County, and an arrest warrant has been issued.
A white Honda Accord, believed to be the car driven by the suspect, was later found abandoned. A weapon was also recovered. However, the suspect is believed to still be armed. He is know to have purchased three assault rifles and a handgun. He may also be wearing body armor.
A massive manhunt involving air units, K-9s, and SWAT was under way at presstime.