An attempt by local police and U.S. Marshals to serve an arrest warrant on a murder suspect in Liberty City turned into a violent shootout this morning, leaving multiple officers injured -- and two dead in the line of duty. Officer Roger Castillo died on the scene during the gun battle outside a home near NW 7th Ave. and 69th Street, the Herald reports. A female officer, Amanda Haworth, died later at the hospital. One suspect was killed and another was arrested.
Update: Police have identified the suspect killed in the gun battle as 23-year-old Johnny Sims, who was wanted in connection to an October murder.
Sims had previous convictions for armed robbery and selling cocaine. Police haven't identified the other suspect in custody.
Helicopters hovered over the corner of NW 7th Ave. and 69th Street this afternoon and police redirected traffic around the area. Dozens of news trucks clustered in a nearby abandoned lot and cameramen hustled around the yellow police tape cordoning off the block.
Around 12:30, Mayor Carlos Alvarez approached the tape to talk about the
"These officers put their lives and their safety on the line every single day, and unfortunately today one officer lost his life," Alvarez said.
The mayor declined to reveal much about the circumstances around the shooting. He said a large squad of officers had surrounded a nearby house to arrest a dangerous subject before the shooting started.
"The bad guy, if he's willing to do it, 99 percent of the time he has the element of surprise on his side," Alvarez said. "No matter how well armed or how well prepared the police are, if you're going to arrest someone willing to get in a shootout, you're in serious danger."
Earlier post: Details are still sparse on what happened this morning, but police briefly shut down traffic on the Interstate and put several local schools on lockdown after the shooting.
A media staging area has been set up a few blocks away, and CBS4 news choppers showed at least two bodies covered with tarps on the scene.
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The fight happened after officers from Miami-Dade, the City of Miami, and federal agents tried to serve a warrant at the house.
Nancy Perez, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade department, tells CBS4 that one officer died on the scene and another is in surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital. At least one suspect also died.
We'll update when we learn more.