A Miami-Dade police officer who shot a 15-year-old near the Joseph Caleb Center after a car chase early Sunday morning — leaving him in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the neck — was part of a beefed-up patrol unit put in place after a Miami rapper was shot and killed in an ambush a few days earlier.
The vehicle driven by the teenager, whom police identified as Vito Corleone-Venisee, was spotted with another car a few blocks from the Caleb Center at a fast food spot at Northwest 56th Street and 22nd Avenue, after Miramar police had issued a look out order for the automobile, a law enforcement source told the Miami Herald.
Police followed it and another vehicle for two blocks and began to chase them when a driver realized they were being followed, a law enforcement source said. One of the cars got away. The other, a black Dodge Challenger, crashed into a fence. Several people got out of the car and took off on foot.
An officer chased down the 15-year-old who was driving the Challenger and shot him around 12:45 a.m. while he was holding a Glock handgun, police said. Police released a color photo of the Glock and another of a semiautomatic rifle found in the back seat of the Challenger.
Police said Vito was wanted for firearm possession and occupied burglary. By late Sunday evening, they hadn’t named the officer who fired his weapon, only saying he’s a 29-year veteran. He was uninjured.
The musician killed Friday evening, whose real name is Shandler Beaubien, was shot to death in West Kendall near Zoo Miami when a Lexus pulled up next to him at an intersection and opened fire. He was driving a Toyota Camry with a 1-year-old baby, a 5-year-old child and woman in the back seat. The three were not physically injured.
The shooting closed down a COVID-19 testing site at the zoo, and with law enforcement fearing retaliatory shootings, sparked beefed-up patrols particularly in Miami-Dade County’s northern end, where the teen was shot.
Beaubien, of Brownsville, was most notable for his song “M.I.A.M.I. (Murder is a Major Issue),” which features him waving around a pistol, a staged murder crime scene and actual footage of Miami-Dade police officers at real-life shooting scenes. It’s been seen on YouTube more than 200,000 times.
Beaubien had been shot before. In May 2020, he was wounded while driving on the 3100 block of Northwest 88th Street. He told officers he fired back in self-defense after somebody in a passing car opened fire at him and several other men gathered outside a house.
According to police, the rapper is suspected of taking part in several shootings in the northern end of the county in the past year.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the police shooting.
Omar Rodríguez Ortiz contributed to this report.