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Two Miami police officers, suspect killed during murder arrest

by Jorge Hernandez on January 21, 2011

Two police officers and the suspect they were trying to detain were shot during a confrontation following an arrest attempt in Miami on Thursday.

Law enforcement officials were serving a first-degree murder warrant in Liberty City, a violent inner-city neighborhood. Gunfire erupted after officers told the suspect, 22-year-old Johnny Simms, to come out of the house based on allegations of his involvement in an October 2010 murder, The Boston Globe reports.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez told Reuters that Simms' mother opened the door and told police officers that she would be right back. Seconds later, gunfire ensued.

Officer Roger Castillo died at the scene after being shot once, while Amanda Haworth was shot several times and died at the hospital where she was being treated. Officer Oscar Placencia shot and killed Simms. The officers were all wearing body armor.

"They’ve been in the department a lot of years. They’re professionals working in a very professional, elite unit. Their sole mission is to protect our community in going after career criminals – violent career criminals," Alvarez told the New York Times.

A third police officer, Detective Deidree Beecher, suffered a wound to her knee and is being treated at a local hospital.

According to the news source, local schools and parts of Interstate 95 were shut down while police continued to look for suspects. Some people were questioned, but no further arrests have been made.

Simms was considered a "career criminal" and had only recently been released from jail. Simms had been arrested 11 times since he was 14, the Miami Herald reports.

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