FBI MIAMI SHOOTOUT
They gunned down two special agents before being shot dead in this bloody battle, but by then robbers Matix and Platt were quite comfortable with murdering
When special agents cornered two violent bank robbers, the gunfight would go down as one of the bloodiest in FBI history
The two crooks ( with a possible third in their car) ordered the guard to ‘ freeze’ before blasting him
with a 12- gauge shotgun
The morning of 11 April 1986 in Pinecrest, Florida, was the time and the scene of a particularly bloody clash between eight FBI special agents and two violent criminals they had finally tracked down. Michael Lee Platt and William Russell Matix were both former military men, honourably discharged with glowing reviews from their superiors. They had no previous criminal records, despite each having a very dubious history, and that’s probably why they got away with four attacks on banks and armoured cars in six months, before their bloody end.
Their first robbery was a midday assault on a Wells Fargo Armoured Car Service guard in Miami, on 10 October 1986. The two crooks ( with a possible third in their car) ordered the guard to “freeze” before blasting him with a 12- gauge shotgun, while his accomplice( s) fired at the other guards. They took nothing, but this attempted robbery showed that these criminals were not afraid of pulling the trigger.
The next attack, on 8 November, was more successful: they made off with $ 41,469 from the Professional Savings Bank at 13100 South Dixie Highway. Apparently emboldened by their previous hit, their third robbery, on 10 January 1986, escalated the bloodshed. Armed with a shotgun and semiautomatic rifle ( possibly an AR- 15), this time the robbers didn’t even give the Brinks Armoured Car Company guard a warning before they blasted him in the back and then put two bullets in his legs when he was on the ground. They made off with $ 54,000 and switched getaway vehicles from a gold Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a white Ford Pickup, in an effort to throw the authorities off their trail. When cops found the abandoned Monte Carlo, they discovered that it had been reported missing three months previously, on 4 October 1985, along with its former owner Emilio Briel, who had disappeared while target shooting at an abandoned rock pit. Briel’s .22 rifle that he was using that day had also disappeared, and Briel’s skeletal remains were found and finally identified in May 1986.
By the time Matix and Platt executed their final robbery, attacking the 13593 South Dixie branch of Barnett Bank ( for a less successful $ 8,338) on 12 March, the FBI was rapidly coming to the conclusion that common perpetrators linked the previous three robberies. Despite having no positive identification for the robbers, the federal agents were confident that they would hit another bank in the South Dixie area soon, and sent surveillance units out on patrol whenever armoured cars were making deliveries. It was on one of these intensified patrol days that they discovered Matix and Platt, driving another stolen Chevrolet Monte Carlo, about to commit another robbery.