Several residents of the Annie Coleman housing complex where two Miami-Dade police officers were shot Monday night told Local 10 News that they don’t understand how detectives were able to arrest a suspect so soon, but have yet to solve the cases in which their loved ones were killed.
Spray paint, broken glass and police tape remained Thursday at the Annie Coleman housing complex, where authorities said the undercover officers were ambushed by four people.
Police said tips helped officers zero in on Damian Thompson, 19, at a hotel less than 12 hours after the shooting.
Families at the northwest Miami-Dade complex who have lost loved ones to violence are raising questions about the speed and intensity of the arrest, and why their cases are unsolved.
“I’m used to it. They never found the killers,” Antquanya Williams said.
Williams’ 18-year-old sister was shot to death in a drive-by shooting that happened blocks away from the scene of Monday’s shooting. Her case remains unsolved, despite officers canvassing the area and pleading for tips from the public.
“It doesn’t mean that an officer’s life is any more valuable,” Dade County Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera said.
Rivera said a lack of cooperation is a major issue in certain investigations.
“We have thousands of leads on open homicide cases (and) we don’t have enough detectives to follow each and every lead,” he added.
Since both officers survived, authorities said Detective Terence White was able to identify Thompson as one of the gunmen.
Police said White had arrested Thompson in January.
Authorities said it’s more difficult to rely solely on witnesses, since many people fear retaliation.
Another concern for police is repeat offenders who are released from jail while awaiting trial, as was the case with Thompson.
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