“I heard the air go out of him”

Many years after these deadly five min­utes, Matix and Platt’s sur­vivors still re­flect on a life- al­ter­ing day

Real Crime - - Minute By Minute -

In 2011, 25 years after the FBI Mi­ami shootout, two sur­vivors – Jose Col­lazo and former Spe­cial Agent John Han­lon – spoke about their har­row­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Just like mur­dered Emilio Briel, Col­lazo was tar­get shoot­ing at a rock pit when Matix and Platt robbed him at gun­point. He was asked whether he was a cop, and they shot him four times when he told them he wasn’t. Col­lazo com­mented on how pro­fes­sional they seemed, say­ing, “Platt was point­ing the gun at me and his hand didn’t even trem­ble.”

Han­lon re­mem­bered Spe­cial Agent Gro­gan telling them they “wouldn’t go easy” and that Matix and Platt “were about as bad as you can get”. When Han­lon was shot in the arm, he re­called think­ing that he was go­ing to bleed out, but the sit­u­a­tion got far worse after Platt charged around their ve­hi­cle to catch Gro­gan and Dove by sur­prise. “He came around and I tried to kick him and then scoot back – he shot me in the groin. I fig­ured he was go­ing to kill me… that’s when Dove fell down. And he brushed against me. His right shoul­der blade was the only thing be­tween my head and his head, and I’m look­ing in his ear, his eyes were closed. He tried to raise his head and I heard ‘ pow pow’ and he dropped his head down – he was fac­ing away from me and had a hole in the back of his head. And the guy was shoot­ing and all the brass was fall­ing on me and tin­kling in the street, and then Ben said, ‘ Oh my God,’ and he fell down at my feet. I heard Gro­gan die. I heard the air go out of him.”

Of the eight agents who ex­changed fire with the rob­bers, two died, five were in­jured – three se­ri­ously – and only one walked away from the shootout un­scathed. This was de­spite out­num­ber­ing their tar­gets by four to one. It forced the

FBI to make sig­nif­i­cant up­grades to their agents’ stan­dard­is­sue weaponry, chang­ing from re­volvers to semi- au­to­matic pis­tols. It was a move rem­i­nis­cent of the FBI’s 1933 up­grade to Thomp­son sub- ma­chine guns after the no­to­ri­ous Kansas City mas­sacre. The spe­cial agents who died have since been hon­oured by the FBI, and by Pinecrest vil­lage, which named a por­tion of South­west 82nd Av­enue after Gro­gan and Dove.

ABOVE FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey hon­ours Spe­cial Agents Gro­gan and Dove on the 30th an­niver­sary of the shootout, in 2016

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.