Cops Shoot Teen Dead During Auto-Theft Sting in Florida

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Miami-Dade Police say a 17-year-old who was shot and killed outside a FleaMarket USA in Northwest Miami-Dade County rammed an unmarked police vehicle and tried to push the car out of the way before two officers opened fire.

Thursday night, Miami-Dade Police Department and Coral Gables Police were working a joint investigation into stolen and burglarized vehicles before the shooting. Police said they were told Jason Carulla would be picking up a stolen vehicle at the FleaMarket store near the corner of SW 79th Street and NW 33rd Avenue.

Miami-Dade Police said undercover detectives saw Carulla get into a Toyota Sequoia that was later identified as an unreported stolen vehicle. Police said one officer moved his car behind the Sequoia at which point Carulla allegedly rammed the car and tried to push it out of the way.

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Miami-Dade Police said two Coral Gables detectives walked to the car and fired their guns at the vehicle.

"It was like pop, pop, pop, pop," said Jose Gonez, who works at the flea market and saw the crowd run away from the scene. "You're trying to get away from the fire is what it is."

Jason CarullaFlorida Department of Law Enforcement

When the shooting was finished, Carulla was pronounced dead at the scene. His family said something else could have been done instead of shooting to kill.

“He could see that was a boy,” Carulla’s father, Janik, said. “He could have made a different decision. He could have shot the tires out. He could have done other things other than use deadly force.”

Janik Carulla said his son didn’t always think things through.

“Jason was like a green light, everything was go,” Janik Carulla said. “He never weighed consequences.”

Miami-Dade Police said the sergeant whose car was rammed suffered minor injuries, but neither of the Coral Gables Police detectives who shot into the car were injured.

One of the detectives has worked for Coral Gables Police for 12 years and the other has worked for the department for 8 years. Both are assigned to the CGPD’s Strategic Initiatives Team.

According to the Miami Herald, Carulla’s stepfather is a police officer with the city of Sweetwater, however the city refused to release the officer’s name.