UPS employee Frank Ordonez was killed Thursday after armed robbery suspects hijacked the UPS truck he was driving and led police on a chase that ended in a fatal shootout in Miramar, Florida.
While mourning his death, Ordonez’s family lashed out at police who they believe are responsible for the loss of life.
“They murdered him,” Joe Merino, the stepfather of Frank Ordonez, told Local 10 News. “I hope you can understand that and how I feel because it could have been prevented.”
Merino questioned why there was a rush to open fire at the truck before other options were considered.
“I have common sense, like we all do, and it shows me, where’s the protocol? Where was protocol? Where was SWAT? Where was the hostage negotiator? Where was the sniper?” Merino said. “They shot him dead!”
Merino believes police failed to consider the innocent victims, including his stepson, during the incident.
“The negligence, the irresponsibility, the lack of life, the lack of concern,” Merino said. “The disregard for life for the victim.”
A former UPS employee himself, Merino said video of the shootout is proof that police acted inappropriately at the scene, calling it the “wild, wild west.”
“There’s bullets everywhere,” he said. “It was a war zone. How can this happen in today’s day and age?”
Ordonez, a 27-year-old father of two young girls, was “outgoing and happy,” his brother, Roy Ordonez, told CNN. “You never knew when he was sad.”
Frank Ordonez liked to fish and to play basketball and video games, his brother said. But “most of all,” he said, “what Frank really liked to do is spend time with his daughters,” ages 3 and 6 years old.
When the hijacking unfolded, Ordonez was covering the route for a driver who had called out, his brother said.
Ordonez “was just going to work to provide for his two little girls,” his brother wrote on a GoFundMe page in which he also criticized the police response.
Four people were killed during Thursday’s incident, including Ordonez, the two robbery suspects and a bystander taking cover in their car at the end of the chase, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said.
Thieves robbed a jewelry store… shot a woman, hijacked the UPS truck took the driver hostage.Police chase ensues. Police engage in shoot-out in busy rush hour..using innocent victims cars as shields. Now- 4 are dead! Are these proper police procedures?
— san (@sanosbo1) December 6, 2019
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez responded to the family’s claims in an interview with Local 10′s Andrew Perez.
“Their perceptions are because they have lost loved ones, so you can’t argue with the way they view things. They’re speaking with pure emotion and, again, I completely understand and I empathize with the loss of their family.”
Using the handle @Geneviemerino, “Genny” mourned the loss of her brother on Twitter, but also blames the police for his death.
“Today I lost my brother because of the (expletive) negligence and stupidity of the police,” “Genny” wrote in the post. “Instead of negotiating with a hostage situation they just shot everyone.”
Ordonez’s stepfather said he will continue to speak out against what he calls his son’s murder by police, claiming they were only protecting themselves when the shootout began.
DEVELOPING: Miramar police confirm multiple fatalities in this officer involved shooting after a UPS truck was stolen. This was crazy to watch live, viewer discretion advised. pic.twitter.com/lU2Ah1Q9I5
— Shayne Wright (@swrightwpbf) December 5, 2019
“What bothers me is the fact that the police went home that night to their families; to their daughters and sons and their wives,” he said. “Frank is never coming back. He wasn’t afforded that right — the right that police is supposed to protect all of us — and they didn’t protect him when he most needed it.”
This clip, shared with our affiliates shows the moments when shots were fired along interstate 75 in Miramar. The robbers hijacked a UPS truck and took 1 person hostage. Police say 4 people died in the shootout including that UPS driver pic.twitter.com/LSCzuBMdsR
— Lexi Nahl (@LexiNahlTV) December 6, 2019