Fla. LEO wounded, man killed in shootout following pursuit

Police said a wanted man who led a police pursuit crashed his vehicle before opening fire on officers

By David Ovalle And Carli Teproff
Miami Herald

MIAMI — The gunman who shot and wounded a Miami-Dade cop in Hialeah has been identified as Leonardo Cano, who has a long arrest record stretching back decades, a source told the Miami Herald.

Heavily armed police officers, sweeping the area around Amelia Earhart Park soon after the gunfire, shot and killed Cano during a confrontation. He had been hiding in a trash bin.

The injured Miami-Dade police officer, who has not been identified, was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital and released.

Miami-Dade police detectives from the Northwest District on Tuesday night had been searching for Cano, 53, for a domestic-related kidnapping. The officers tried to pull over his Nissan Sentra when it was spotted at West 65th Street and Second Avenue at about 10:45 p.m.

The car sped off, police said, then crashed.

"He stepped out of the vehicle with an assault rifle and opened fire at the detectives," a Miami-Dade police spokesman said in a statement.

Police detectives returned fire. A 32-year-old detective was hit in the exchange. He was was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center and went home to recuperate.

Law enforcement set up a perimeter, and called in the Special Response Team, which found Cano hiding nearby. "A confrontation ensued, shots were fired and the subject was fatally wounded," the department said.

Court records show that Cano has more than a dozen arrests since the late 1990s, on charges including battery, petty theft and resisting arrest with violence.

Cano was most recently arrested in Miami in 2016, when his girlfriend told police that he accused her of cheating. According to an arrest report, Cano grabbed the woman by the hair, then threw her to the ground, refusing to allow her to leave their apartment in Hialeah. He later surrendered to police.

Prosecutors, however, declined to press charges. It was unclear why, but it is not unusual for the state to drop domestic-violence cases when victims decline to cooperate.

Civil court records show the same woman was seeking a restraining order against Cano for a series of stalking and violent incidents in recent months.

In a petition, she said Cano had been threatening and harassing her, even following her to the police station when she went to file a report against him. Finally, on June 12, Cano went to her home, hit her with an empty coffee mug and kept her "against her will" inside the home for 30 hours, the petition said.

During the ordeal, Cano broke a free-standing fan, and threatened to beat her with the rod, she said. A hearing for a permanent injunction was set for July 20.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, on Twitter, said the gunman was "fueled by domestic violence" as police tried to arrest him.

"MDPD officers came inches away from losing their lives protecting our community," he wrote.

©2018 Miami Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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