1986 FBI Miami shootout

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The 1986 FBI Miami shootout was a gun battle that occurred on April 11, 1986 in an unincorporated region of Miami-Dade County in south Florida between eight Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and two serial bank robbers. At 8:45 a.m on April 11, 1986, a team of FBI agents led by Special Agent Gordon McNeill assembled at a Home Depot to initiate a rolling stakeout searching for the black Monte Carlo (Collazo's stolen car). The agents did not know the identity of the suspects at the time. They were acting on a hunch that the pair would attempt a robbery that morning. A total of fourteen FBI agents in eleven cars participated in the search. Around 9:30 a.m., agents Grogan and Dove spotted the suspect vehicle, and began to follow. Two other stakeout team cars joined them, and eventually an attempt was made to conduct a felony traffic stop of the suspects, who were forced off the road following collisions with the FBI cars of agents Grogan/Dove, agents Hanlon/Mireles and agent Manauzzi. This sent the suspect car nose first into a tree in a small parking area in front of a house at 12201 Southwest 82nd Avenue, pinned against a parked car on its passenger side and Manauzzi's car on the driver side. Of the eight agents at the scene, two had shotguns in their vehicles (McNeill and Mireles), three were armed with semi-automatic 9mm pistols (Dove, Grogan, and Risner), and the rest were armed with revolvers. During the firefight, Special Agents Jerry L. Dove and Benjamin P. Grogan were killed. The two robbery suspects, William Russell Matix and Michael Lee Platt, were killed. The subsequent FBI investigation placed partial blame for the agents' deaths on the lack of stopping power exhibited by their service handguns. The FBI soon began the search for a more powerful caliber and cartridge. Noting the difficulties of reloading a revolver while under fire, the FBI specified that agents should be armed with semiautomatic handguns. The Smith & Wesson 1076, chambered for the 10mm Auto round, was chosen as a direct result of the Miami shootout. The sharp recoil of the 10mm Auto later proved too much for most agents to control effectively, and a special reduced velocity loading of the 10mm Auto round was developed, commonly referred to as the "10mm Lite" or "10mm FBI". Soon thereafter, Smith and Wesson realized the long case of the 10mm Auto was not necessary to produce the improved ballistics of the FBI load. Smith and Wesson developed a shorter cased cartridge based on the 10mm that would ultimately replace the 10mm as the primary FBI service cartridge, the .40 S&W. The .40 S&W became more popular than its parent due to the ability to chamber the shorter cartridge in standard frame automatic pistols designed initially for the 9 mm Parabellum. In addition to the problems with their handguns, other issues were brought up in the aftermath of the shooting. Despite being on the lookout for two violent felons who were known to use firearms during their crimes, only two of the FBI vehicles contained shotguns (in addition to Mireles, McNeill had a shotgun in his car, but was unable to reach it before the shootout began), and none of the agents were armed with rifles. Only two of the agents were wearing ballistic vests, and the armor they were wearing was standard light body armor, which is designed to protect against handgun rounds, not the .223 Remington rounds fired by Platt's Mini-14 rifle. The other six agents involved in the stakeout in five vehicles, who did not reach the shootout in time to participate, did have additional weaponry including Remington shotguns, Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns, and M16 rifles. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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