A shirtless man has been captured on video being shot to death while in a stand-off with Miami police.
The suspect had reportedly tried to rob a branch of Bank of America before fleeing to a neighboring barber shop and causing a disturbance.
Disturbing Twitter video shows the man falling to the ground clutching his chest after being shot twice.
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Miami Herald reports:
In the video, a bald, shirtless man wearing blue jeans and holding a straight razor in his left hand takes a step toward two Miami Beach police officers, who are aiming their weapons at him.
No verbal exchanges can be heard on the video, which appeared to be shot from across the street.
As the man approaches them, a policeman fires his assault rifle. Two shots are heard on the video, and the man falls backwards, clutching his chest as he drops to the street.
Warning: the video is graphic, and it’s unclear what happened immediately before the video was shot, or what was said by police or the man holding the straight edge.
Police Chief Daniel Oates said one officer on the scene was wearing a body camera that also captured the deadly encounter, but that the video cannot be released to the public yet under state law.
In a recent change of protocol, Oates said, Miami-Dade Police Department will investigate the shooting, “in the interest of transparency.”
“It’s a horrible, isolated incident” said Mayor Philip Levine. “As we learn more about this incident from Miami-Dade police, from the state attorney’s office, we will make sure to keep everyone informed.”
video contains graphic images
DISTURBING VIDEO: Man killed by @MiamiBeachPD at Alton Rd and 15th today during #ArtBasel https://t.co/09cimUuzvC pic.twitter.com/PzNX00zcv0
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) December 5, 2015
According to police and witness reports, the man, who has not been identified, walked into the Bank of America at 1414 Alton Road around 10:30 a.m. Saturday and handed a teller a note that said he was armed with a bomb.
The fled north on Alton, but did not take any money from the bank. “He left without the money,” Oates said.
Police found the man a short time later about a block away, at the RazzleDazzle Barbershop on 1530 Alton Road.
Witnesses said they could see the man causing a commotion inside the barber shop. Oates said police urged him to come out, and that the man armed himself with the straight edge, removed his shirt and exited the store.
“He was challenged by the officers in the street,” Oates said, “and at some point during that confrontation he did raise his hand with a straight edge razor in it, and he was shot.”
In the witness video posted to social media, the man does appear to move his left hand. He is standing by the hood of a squad car, and the policeman with the assault rifle is standing by the trunk.
After the shooting, which occurred in front the barber shop, witnesses gave conflicting accounts that officers also had fired a Taser at the man. Police could not immediately verify if officers fired a Taser during the encounter.
The robbery-turned-shooting unfolded under gray, drizzly skies in Miami Beach, taking some residents by surprise as they went about their day on the busy Alton Road thoroughfare.
Sylvia Rodriguez and her boyfriend were walking to the corner store to get milk for their coffee when they saw the scene. She said the man was dead within five minutes of her arrival, and she didn’t hear his voice at all.
“Everything seemed under control. It wasn’t fast. It was pretty chill,” she said. “He was not acting erratic.”
Then the shirtless man, who was holding was holding some kind of knife, took a step forward.
Then came the shots.
“It went boom-boom, twice,” Rodriguez said, adding that she didn’t see a Taser go off.
The male officer who shot the man walked toward a parked police car near the northwest corner of the intersection after the shots were fired.
Rodriguez, 27, said she saw the officer flash a “slight smile” and thumbs up at the other officers.
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