MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A woman died Tuesday following a shootout with Miami-Dade police, who were serving an eviction notice at her Brickell apartment.
"As our officers made contact with the subject, the subject fired a firearm at our officers. Our officers returned fire," explained Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez.
Ramirez said none of his officers were injured while serving the eviction notice at the Brickell First apartments building at 110 SW 12 Street. He said the gunfire was blocked by their equipment.
"She fired the firearm and it hit our shield. Thanks to the grace of God, none of our officers were injured," he said.
The woman was rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center where she later died.
An associate very close to the building's owner told CBS4's Keith Jones that the woman was squatting there for over a year, adding she had no rights to be in the apartment because there was no lease.
They had reportedly been trying to evict her for over a year, but that had been next to impossible because of the moratorium on evictions in Miami-Dade County.
People who live nearby first noticed something was happening when they saw police approach the building.
"I walked up on the balcony and there were three cops over there and two undercover cops right next to them. They got out and put on bulletproof vests," said witness Austin Wilson.
It wasn't long after that when people heard gunfire.
"We were just sitting in the park and there was a shootout coming out. We didn't know where it was coming, we just heard, we were walking by," said another witness, Mauricio Hernandez.
Hernandez said he heard two gunshots. It was shortly after that when a massive police presence moved in.
"All of a sudden I see a bunch of officers running down and they're like holding onto their side. I see officers swarming and a bunch of cop cars coming in and they barricade toward the end of the street," said Gabby Beltran, who lives nearby.
Mac Morey, who also lives nearby, added, "At first there was a few and then we're like, 'Oh, look at that.' And then all of a sudden it was like 10, 15, then 20 officers showing up at the scene."
Ramirez said this is what their team trains for – and dreads.
"These are one of those scenarios that we always worry about, but our officers were prepared and a trained. It's just an unfortunate outcome, but they fired at my officers," he said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation, as is the case with all local police-involved shootings.
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