Authorities have identified a 30-year-old Kendall man as the motorist shot and killed by Miami-Dade police officers this week during a Liberty City traffic stop.
Investigators believe Danny Valdes, on Tuesday just after 2 a.m., was driving a stolen Nissan in Liberty City when patrol officers ran the tag and tried pulling him over.
According to the Miami-Dade police union, Valdes refused to stop, leading them on a pursuit for more than 20 blocks.
When the car apparently died and came to a rolling stop near Northwest 59th Street and 35th Avenue, two officers got out on foot and demanded he exit. He refused, said Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera.
At first, Valdes reached toward the glove compartment. The officer at the driver’s side window did not fire “because he could see his hands,” Rivera said.
But when Valdes reached under the car seat, the officer feared for his life, Rivera said.
“He was obviously not complying and he made some threatening comments to the officer and when he reached under the seat, the threat level kept escalating and the officer feared for his life and safety and fired,” Rivera said.
No weapon was found in the Nissan. A screwdriver, which may have been used to start or break into the stolen car, was found on the floorboard.