LAUDERHILL - A Lauderhill police officer's thirst for drinks from 7-Eleven helped end a terrifying armed robbery.
Body worn camera video released Friday showed the takedown.
The officer's name is Samuel Ramos. He is a regular at the 7-Eleven near city hall and what he did there one year ago this month still resonates with customers.
"The courageousness is awesome," Reo Santana, a regular customer. "It's amazing."
Two workers told police the suspect came in the store, wandered around, gripped a handgun in his pocket, moved behind the counter then threatened the clerks with the gun kept out-of-sight while the women continued serving customers, according to court records.
One victim messaged her husband that she was afraid. He called police.
The first officers responding stood inside the store confused. The employees told police everything was fine because the women were frightened, according to court records.
Then, as the gunman sent one of the victims to get him a uniform to help the suspect blend in Officer Ramos entered the store to purchase a drink, court records said. Officer Ramos noticed an unfamiliar face behind the counter and concern on the face of the clerk sent to get the extra uniform, according to court records. He then asked the clerk if there was a problem and she told Officer Ramos the gunman was behind the counter.
Video shows Ramos alert his fellow officers who swarmed with their guns drawn around the suspect. Police had their suspect on the ground within seconds.
Prosecutors charged Trae Riontae Slaughter with six felonies including aggravated assault, false imprisonment and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, according to court records. He pled not guilty but remains in jail waiting for trial.
Ramos' role earned him a medal of valor from his department. Customers have high praise too.
"It makes me feel good," Shirley Maugha, a customer at the store Officer Ramos frequents. "Law enforcement is there for a purpose and once they do the right thing it's okay."
"It's not always about the paycheck," Santana said. "It's about securing the place you live in. It doesn't matter if you're off-duty or not. That's awesome. I think that's really commendable.
for more features.