A truck driver who allegedly fired a flare gun at officers Saturday afternoon was shot and killed by Hialeah Police officers.
Luis Enrique Nunez, 48, died in a hail of bullets after a confrontation in the hallway of his apartment building. Multiple 911 calls poured in -- the first from either Nunez or his wife -- after a domestic dispute, with neighbors reporting he was running around the halls with a weapon.
Responding officers found Nunez "in some sort of crisis,” Hialeah Police spokesman Carl Zogby told The Miami Herald. "They were not able to calm him down."
Family members suggested Nunez was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, which usually caused him to behave in a paranoid way. When sister Elsa Nunez arrived at the apartment complex to check on her brother after he called their mother in distress, she found police already involved.
"I said ‘please, that’s my brother don’t shoot him. Let me talk to him, because he knows me, he knows the family, he will react, he knows me'," said Elsa Nunez. But Hialeah Police Chief Mark Overton said officers would not have put Nunez at risk.
"I can tell you if the subject was acting in a dangerous manor and was armed, the officer were not going to allow her to go into a dangerous situation," Overton said. Later, he noted "a flare gun will kill you if they shot you with it. It is a deadly weapon."
Though police did not immediately confirm who fired first when the confrontation came to a head, one police officer suffered an injury to his hand after being shot with a flare. Nunez was pronounced dead on scene.
"One shot and then all of a sudden it was like six or eight shots. It was horrible," Francia Melendez, Nunez' girlfriend, told WSVN.
According to an arrest record obtained by the Miami Herald, previous charges against Nunez have include attempted murder of a police officer, battery, cocaine possession, and kidnapping/false imprisonment. Family members were adamant Nunez did not have to die.
"It's something that didn't have to happen. Innocent people. He was not a threat to a single person," niece Ana Martinez told WSVN.
"They murdered my brother," said a distraught Elsa Nunez. "They shoot him eight times in his chest."