By Michelle Graff
Coral Gables, Fla.—Four people are dead following an attempted armed robbery at a jewelry store and an ensuing high-speed chase last week in south Florida.

At a press conference held last week in Coral Gables, Police Chief Ed Hudak Jr. said at 4:17 p.m. Thursday, police received a silent holdup alarm from Regent Jewelers on the “Miracle Mile,” a stretch lined with restaurants, shops and galleries.

Officers responded in less than two minutes but, in that time, the store’s proprietor and the two suspects involved exchanged gunfire.

A female employee of Regent Jewelers was injured in the exchange, and a bullet also struck the window of Coral Gables City Hall, located across the street from the store.

Hudak said following the attempted robbery, the suspects carjacked a UPS truck at gunpoint a short distance from the store, kidnapped the driver and fled in the truck.

At a separate press conference held Thursday by the Miami-Dade Police Department via Facebook Live, George Piro, special agent in charge of FBI’s Miami field office, said after the carjacking at 4:36 p.m., a high-speed chase ensued through Dade and Broward counties, ending in Miramar, Florida.

The armed suspects and police exchanged gunfire, and both suspects were killed, as well two bystanders—the driver of the UPS truck, identified by his family as 27-year-old father of two Frank Ordonez, and a man identified in media reports as 70-year-old Richard Cutshaw, who was sitting in his car near where the gunfire was exchanged.

The FBI’s Miami Field Office identified the two men who attempted to rob the jewelry store then fled as Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill, both 41 years old and residents of Miami-Dade County.

Jewelers’ Security Alliance President John J. Kennedy said Friday the deaths of Ordonez and Cutshaw are the first homicides to occur in connection with a jewelry crime this year.

Alexander and Hill are the first suspect deaths of 2019.

The Miami Herald reported that officers from the Miramar, Pembroke Pines and Miami-Dade police departments have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shootout, which has prompted questions in the community.

The Miami-Dade Police Department referred all questions about the incident to the FBI’s Miami Field Office.

The office has not released any information other than the names of the two deceased suspects, and a spokesman said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.

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