Four people died in a shootout Thursday after jewelry robbers stole a UPS truck and led Florida police on a high-speed chase, the FBI said.
The truck driver, a bystander and both suspects were killed in Miramar, about 20 miles from the site of the initial robbery, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said during a news conference.
Police in Coral Gables responded to the robbery at a Regent Jewelers store shortly after 4 p.m., Chief Ed Hudak said, and were met with gunfire from two suspects.
The suspects then fled in a truck and hijacked the UPS delivery truck about 20 minutes later, Piro said, taking the driver as a hostage. Police chased the suspects until they stopped in one of the middle lanes of a busy roadway, caught behind a wall of other vehicles waiting for a red light to turn green.
Police approached the truck, and the suspects opened fire amid rush hour traffic. Piro said the suspects had shot at police during the chase, too.
It is unknown whether bullets fired by police killed the UPS driver or bystander in a nearby vehicle, Piro said.
“It is very, very early on in the investigation and it would be completely inappropriate to discuss that,” Piro said. “We have just began to process the crime scene. As you can imagine, this is going to be a very complicated crime scene.”
Investigators will need to examine the intersection where the shootout occurred, the site where the UPS truck was stolen and the jewelry store, Piro said. It was not immediately clear whether suspects stole anything from the store after triggering a silent alarm that alerted police, Hudak said. A store worker also was injured during the incident, police said.
UPS spokesman David Graves said the company would cooperate with authorities.
“We are deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence,” Graves said in a statement. “We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in this incident.”
Contributing: The Associated Press