On May 20, 2019, detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department were conducting surveillance in the Miami Gardens area to locate a suspect who was involved in a shooting the previous day. They found him and observed him park his vehicle and enter a residence. Additional detectives arrived at the scene to assist with apprehending the suspect once he exited the residence.
After several hours, the suspect emerged with what appeared to be a rifle slung around his neck. He began to enter his vehicle as detectives drove their unmarked vehicles toward the suspect’s vehicle in an effort to contain him. As they approached the suspect, they gave several loud commands for him to exit his vehicle, but the suspect pointed his rifle in their direction and began firing. The detectives immediately returned fire.
During the exchange of gunfire, Lieutenant Benny Solis arrived on the scene at which point the suspect began firing in his direction, striking his unmarked vehicle on the driver’s side. As the exchange of gunfire ensued, Lieutenant Solis flanked the suspect in order to draw his attention away from the other detectives. Lieutenant Solis jumped the residence’s fence and successfully drew the suspect’s attention toward himself, allowing the other detectives to strategically advance. He continued to issue commands to the suspect to drop his weapon, which went unheeded. Ultimately, the advancing detectives fatally wounded the suspect.
All the involved officers acted courageously during this violent encounter, but Lieutenant Solis exhibited exceptional courage and extraordinary decisiveness as he worked to draw the suspect’s attention away from the other detectives. His presence of mind and unusual swiftness of action were instrumental in the quick resolution of this dangerous situation.