LaBeet had talked about this day enough that D'Angelo knew what to do. She slowed her Honda and began driving in the middle of the road to run interference. Meanwhile, her husband's maroon Buick fishtailed through four lanes of traffic and squealed into the Sea Pines Apartments.

By the time Miami-Dade cops Jose Somohano and Christopher Carlin caught up to LaBeet, he was already jumping out of his car and bolting into his backyard. Somohano, a former school cop with a crewcut and two kids, sprinted after him. But when Somohano opened the gate, bulldogs snarled in his face. The cops doubled back to the front door, where D'Angelo was stepping out of her car with her two older kids, ages 7 and 1.

"Who's in the house?" Carlin asked.

Illustration by Joseph Laney
Illustration by Joseph Laney

"Nobody," D'Angelo answered. "Nobody's in the house."

"Who was just driving that car? He just ran into your house!"

"I don't know what you're talking about," D'Angelo said. But when the cops pressed her once more, she cracked. "Well, if it's anybody, it's Kevin," she said, using LaBeet's pseudonym.

"Go get him," Carlin said. "We just want to talk to him."

D'Angelo let the two officers into the shabby apartment to search for LaBeet, but all they found were rooms full of Chihuahuas and bulldogs. Suddenly, Somohano spotted LaBeet peering over the back fence. When cops called him inside, LaBeet bolted.

Carlin sprinted after him. But at the end of the block, LaBeet turned around again. "Back to the house!" Carlin called into his radio.

LaBeet jumped the backyard fence. Carlin began climbing after him until he remembered the dogs. Instead, he ran toward the front door. That was when he heard the shots, so loud and close together they could not possibly have come from his partner's Glock.

When he reached the front door, Carlin saw LaBeet, D'Angelo, and their two daughters standing next to the white Honda. The cop shouted for LaBeet to put his hands up. Instead, he reached inside the car and pulled out an AK-47.

In an instant, the air was alight. Carlin could feel burning copper bullet casings mince the morning air. He could hear the slugs crack into cars and windows and concrete as if the world were warping around him. They buried themselves in dumpsters and front doors and even the couch inside a neighboring apartment. And then they tore through the cop's right ankle.

Carlin dropped to the asphalt in pain. He huddled between two cars. Just then, two Miami-Dade green-and-whites pulled up in front of the apartment. Officer Ron Zapustas raced over to Carlin and helped him limp out of LaBeet's crosshairs.

LaBeet — now dressed in a bulletproof vest — trained his laser sight on the other cops, more of whom were arriving every minute. Officer Jodi Wright climbed out of her squad car but barely drew her gun before LaBeet shot her in the leg. She slumped against an air-conditioning unit and screamed in pain as bullets skipped off the pavement around her.

When Officer Tomas Tundidor pulled up in front of D'Angelo's white Honda, rounds ricocheted inside his cruiser like lotto balls. Tundidor felt something sting his face and legs. He stepped on the gas and screeched out of the line of fire.

With cops pinned down, Shawn LaBeet did what his older brother had done 22 years earlier: escape. As slugs shattered the windshield and thudded into the car's door frame, LaBeet drove his wife's Honda over the grass and into oncoming traffic. In an instant, he was gone.Carlin looked up from his mangled leg and saw cops strewn about the apartment complex. Wright was still screaming. Tundidor was clutching his cheek. And there, at the front door of LaBeet's house, was Somohano.

The cop had been peering into the windows when LaBeet, the gamer and gun-range marksman, took sight and pulled the trigger from inside the house. A bullet caught Somohano and sent him to the ground. As the officer reached for his gun, LaBeet loomed over him and coolly emptied a clip into his chest and head.

When Carlin found his partner, he retched. The scene was grisly. ­Somohano's shattered sunglasses lay a few feet from his nearly unrecognizable body. His radio was drenched in blood but still squawking. And his gold neck chain now lay in pieces, glittering in the grass.

"Officer down," Carlin sobbed. "Officer down."


Drenched in sweat, gripping the AK-47 in one hand and a black pistol in the other, Shawn LaBeet stood on his friend Lázaro Guardiola's doorstep. "I just shot a cop," he confessed. "You got to get me out of here!"

Guardiola peered outside. Helicopters swirled overhead.

With the help of Guardiola's stepson, Alain Gonzalez, the two men stashed the Honda behind the house next to a canal. LaBeet tossed the AK under the car and stripped off his bloody bulletproof vest. Inside the house, he quickly shaved off the scraggly beard he'd worn for the past month and donned one of Alain's shirts. "Let's get the fuck out of here," he said, emerging from the bathroom with a new face.

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6 comments
pattilynn7177
pattilynn7177

I have to disagree with Perkins.  First, Curcio has NO axe to grind.  He has always been meticulous.  If he says that it'sLaBeet, I believe him.  Curcio has never granndstanded over any of the cases that he has been involved in solving.  Sgt. Reyka would have approved of his methods, investigation, and conclusions.  This story was very well done, and I appreciate the thoroughness.

perkins1085
perkins1085

This is simply a case of BSO grasping at straws to bring closure to open murder case.  They can assume Lebeet is their suspect but they'll never know beyond a shadow of a doubt if he really is since dead men can't tell tales. 

perkins1085
perkins1085

@pattilynn7177  


This smells of Scott Israel & his quest to make a name for himself.  It sounds like Curico had LaBeet figured for this crime years ago--Why didn't BSO come forward with this years ago?


Its not a coincidence that the newly elected super sheriff solves a 7yr open murder case within his first year of office.  

pattilynn7177
pattilynn7177

@perkins1085 @pattilynn7177  


Mr. Perkins, I believe that John Curcio was working on it even when Al Lamberti was sheriff.  I don't believe that your premise, "making a name for himself," is true, I certainbly hope not.  No law enforcement officer that I've ever worked with, or known, would put politics above anything, when it comes to solving the murder of a fellow law enforcement officer.  John Curcio would not.

 
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