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2 Miami-Dade police officers killed in shootout

A U.S. marshal is seen with a weapon as he walks toward a fallen Miami-Dade police officer Thursday. Two officers were killed in a shootout with a suspect, who was also killed.

Associated Press

A U.S. marshal is seen with a weapon as he walks toward a fallen Miami-Dade police officer Thursday. Two officers were killed in a shootout with a suspect, who was also killed.

MIAMI — A shootout erupted Thursday in a notoriously crime-ridden section of Miami as a team of heavily armed law enforcement agents tried to serve a warrant, leaving two officers and a suspect dead, authorities said.

Miami-Dade police director James Loftus said the first officer, Roger Castillo, had been shot once and died at the scene. The second officer, Amanda Haworth, died in a hospital from several gunshot wounds. Loftus said officers killed the suspect, 23-year-old Johnny Simms, who had been armed with a handgun.

Loftus said a third officer, Deidree Beecher, was being treated at a hospital for a knee injury. All the officers were wearing body armor and had clear police identification on them, he said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said a squad of Miami-Dade police officers — who are part of the career criminal unit of the warrants division — was serving a homicide warrant on Simms in the city's impoverished Liberty City neighborhood.

"This unit is very well trained, very well armed, and highly protects itself," said Alvarez, a former police chief. "So they know what they're doing. It was just a tragic incident that we see here too often in Miami-Dade, of a violent suspect who could care less." Alvarez said another suspect was taken into custody, and investigators said they're not looking for anyone else.

Barry Golden, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in South Florida, said the officers were working with a marshals fugitive task force. The task force works to arrest people wanted for crimes from all over the country.

Haworth, 44, is the first female officer shot and killed by a suspect in Miami-Dade. She had been on the force for 23 years.

Castillo had been on the force for 21 years.

Information from the Miami Herald was used in this report.

2 Miami-Dade police officers killed in shootout 01/20/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 20, 2011 10:19pm]

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