The UPS driver who was killed during a shootout between police and armed robbers in Miami on Thursday has been identified as 27-year-old Frank Ordonez. The two armed robbers and a civilian in a car are also confirmed dead.
Ordonez is a father of two daughters, ages 3 and 5. A co-worker told reporters Ordonez was a UPS employee for 5 years, but Thursday was his first day working alone as a driver.
The tragic incident began at 4:17 p.m. Thursday when someone triggered a silent burglary alarm at Regent Jeweler's on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.
Coral Gables police chief Edward Hudak said an armed robber fired a shot into the floor, which ricocheted, hitting a store clerk in the forehead. She was transported to a local hospital. Her condition is unknown.
The two robbers then hijacked a UPS truck in Coral Gables and fled with Ordonez held at gunpoint.
The stolen UPS truck led police from multiple agencies on a high-speed chase through city streets, down the Florida turnpike and up Interstate 75. The truck exited the highway and got stuck in traffic at the intersection of Miramar Parkway near Flamingo Road in Broward County.
A firefight broke out between the two armed robbers and police, with dozens of civilians in harm's way. More than 200 rounds were fired at the truck.
Video from a news chopper shows 19 police officers returning fire from all angles. Some of the officers used occupied civilian vehicles as shields.
Two men were seen crawling over each other through the truck's open passenger door onto the asphalt pavement. One of the men was Ordonez who apparently dropped a cell phone on the pavement.
Ordonez's family and friends want answers: why did police pursue and then open fire on the UPS truck in a hostage situation at a busy city intersection?
One Twitter user wrote:
"They killed a bystander and the UPS driver wtf man. These things are covered by insurance did they really have to do this over some packages. Like they couldn't wait?"
Steadman Stahl, the president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, was unapologetic about the police engaging the suspects in a firefight at a crowded intersection.
"It's unfortunate that the bystanders were killed, but the bad guys put all this in motion," said Stahl. He added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two innocent bystanders."
A UPS spokesman released a statement after learning of the fate of their driver:
"We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence. We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in this incident. We appreciate law enforcement’s service and will cooperate with the authorities as they continue the investigation."
A fellow UPS driver created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Ordonez's family.