Shawn LaBeet's Shooting Justified: Grand Jury Report Details Criminal's Desperate Last Stand
Illustration by Joseph Laney
Almost seven years after Shawn LaBeet's one-man war on police came to a sudden end, a Broward County grand jury has deemed his death justified.
The report, released earlier this week, ruled that Miami-Dade officers Humberto Perez and Michael Madruga acted "within the course and scope of their law enforcement responsibilities" when they shot LaBeet more than a dozen times inside a women's bathroom on September 13, 2007.
The report also detailed LaBeet's desperate last moments as he tried to kill as many cops as possible.
See also: Shawn LaBeet: Cop Killer Redux
LaBeet's short but violent life was the subject of a New Times feature last year.
The article unearthed evidence that LaBeet's rampage had actually begun a month before his death, when he allegedly killed Broward Sheriff's deputy Chris Reyka.
Although Reyka's death is not mentioned in the grand jury report, it would help to explain why LaBeet turned a routine traffic stop into a deadly shootout on September 13, 2007.
Pulled over for speeding near his house in Naranja, LaBeet instead led cops on a high-speed chase to his house, where he donned a bulletproof vest and came out blazing with an AK-47.
LaBeet, a skilled marksman who was obsessed with guns, shot four police officers that morning including Lázaro Somohano. As the cop lay dying on the ground, LaBeet stood over him and emptied rounds into his chest and head,"effectively executing him in cold blood," according to the report.
Illustration by Joseph Laney
Incredibly, LaBeet managed to escape the scene of the crime. And with the help of friends and family, he fled to Pembroke Pines.
The report also confirms for the first time how cops discovered LaBeet's hideout.
"Through interrogation of Mr. Labeet's relative with whom he had last been seen, it was learned that Mr. Labeet could be found hiding in the pool area of the Heron Pond condominium complex in Pembroke Pines," the report says.
(That relative, Jaleel Torres, previously told New Times that police "beat the shit out of" him until he disclosed LaBeet's location.)
Members of the Miami-Dade Special Response Team (SRT) soon surrounded the apartment complex. Two cops quietly entered the men's bathroom, while Sgt. Perez and officer Madruga entered the women's.
Sergeant Perez shined a flashlight in the darkened room and could see a person's legs in one of the bathroom stalls. As Sergeant Perez began to push open the stall door, he saw the person standing inside who was later positively identified as Shawn Labeet. Both he and Officer Madruga immediately shouted commands of "Police! Show me you hands! Let me see your hands, let me see your hands!" Mr. Labeet responded with words to the effect, "I'm going to kill you, too," along with other indiscernible exclamations as he reached for a handgun in the front waistband of his pants and tried to kick the bathroom stall door shut.
The cops unloaded "18 or 19 rounds" into the door, hitting LaBeet in his face, arms and chest.
"Each officer reasonably believed that such deadly force was necessary to defend himself or others not only from bodily harm but from imminent death or great bodily harm," the report concluded.
Although the grand jury report closes the book on LaBeet's own death, BSO's investigation into deputy Reyka's mysterious August 10, 2007 killing remains open. BSO encourages anyone with information on Reyka's killing to call the hotline at 954-880-3950.
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