New video shows crash, fatal shooting in Miami Beach

New video obtained by Local 10 shows the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of a woman who barreled through a crowd in her car on Sunday. 

Officials are investigating the shooting and several crashes that involved two officers Sunday night, police said.

Authorities said a woman, identified Monday as Cariann Denise Hithon, 22, got into her black BMW that was parked in the 1400 block of Ocean Drive and sped south, passing cars in the oncoming lane and striking two vehicles at the intersection of 12th Street and Ocean Drive.

Police said Hithon continued heading west on 12th Street, ran a red light at Collins Avenue and struck a third vehicle just after 6:15 p.m. 

Police said witnesses and officers began to gather at the intersection to try to help the victims, and the woman drove into the crowd, hitting Officer David Cajuso with her car. 

Police said another officer fired at the woman, who was struck by at least one round.

Investigators are now looking into whether the other officer involved should've fired his gun.

"All of the sudden, she like, starts the car and runs over the policeman," a witness said.

Miguel Garcia shared a picture he said shows the officer moments after being struck by the driver. He said seconds later, shots were fired.

"Like four or five times," Garcia said. "Shots were fired by another Miami Beach officer, (which) struck the car and struck the female driver of the car."

Witnesses shared a picture with Local 10 News as they saw officers performing CPR on Hithon.

Officials said Hithon was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she died.

Authorities said Cajuso lost consciousness and was taken to an area hospital, but he is expected to be OK.

Hithon's father, Cray Hithton, said his daughter was a college student from Maryland and was in town to celebrate her 22nd brithday. She was getting a degree in political science and he said he canot image what went wrong that day. 

"All I can sya is something may have happened to my daughter in the moment that caused her to act," he said. "Nothing like anything I can recall or understand." 

The officer who fired shots is on administrative leave pending an investigation, something the department said is protocol.

 

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In 2014, Miami Beach police changed its policy, prohibiting officers from shooting into moving vehicles unless "a person in the vehicle is immediately threatening the officer or another person with deadly force by means other than the vehicle."

Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said the police department updated and amended its policy on May 16 after several vehicle attacks by terrorists in Europe.

The updated policy is similar to the 2014 version and states that "a moving vehicle alone shall not presumptively constitute a threat that justifies an officer's use of deadly force."

The policy states that officers shall "move to a position of safety" if possible rather than discharging a gun at a vehicle.  

Officers must also not fire their guns at suspects if there is a reasonable probability that they will miss their target or that they might harm innocent bystanders or officers, the policy states. 

Officials said the Miami-Dade Police Department is investigating the officer-involved shooting, while the Miami Beach Police Department is investigating the crashes.

Rodriguez said Cajuso was hired by the police department in 2015. He said the officer was released from the hospital early Monday and is recovering at home. 

The officer who fired their weapon has not yet been identified.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.