Adrian Montesano apparently excelled at the art of appearing out of nowhere.
He reportedly did it to Daihana Lugo, a mother and grandmother, who said she was outside a Walgreens in Little Havana, Fla. with her manager and another female employee when Montesano, 27, came at her with a gun early Tuesday morning, WFOR-TV in Miami reported.
Surveillance video shows Montesano, holding a pistol, first forcing the manager into the store then grabbing Lugo from behind, his arm around her neck and holding the weapon near her head. Lugo told WFOR that Montesano said to her in Spanish, “Come in, mami” (which can be taken in a variety of ways — from a term of endearment to a condescending, too-familiar address).
Once inside the store Montesano began yelling, demanding money, and threatening to kill her if she didn’t cooperate, Lugo said, adding that Montesano fired two shots and told the security guard to hand over his wallet.
Security guard Denefield Ferguson said he had his hand on his 9mm pistol the entire time but didn’t want to risk firing it as he determined Montesano was using Lugo as a shield. “I did not want her to get shot by him so I wasn’t able to make a move,” he later explained to WFOR. “I had to lay low and wait for him to leave.”
Ferguson gave his wallet to Montesano, who drove off — but an “upset and angry” Ferguson said he managed to fire three rounds at the vehicle in an attempt to stop the perp.
Then Montesano apparently appeared out of nowhere again.
Just after the Walgreen’s stick-up, Miami-Dade police got a call about shots fired at a mobile home park a couple of miles from the drug store. As Officer Saul Rodriguez looked for witnesses regarding the gunshots, he reportedly never saw Montesano coming.
WFOR indicates there was a struggle between the two. John Rivera, president of the Miami Police Benevolent Association, noted to WFOR on camera that Montesano took Rodriquez’ gun, put it to his temple, and then took his credit card and Rodriquez’ police cruiser.
And at some point Montesano shot Rodriquez in the abdomen with the cop’s own gun, WFOR noted. (Rodriguez underwent surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, WFOR added.)
Police say Montesano drove to his grandmother’s house in Hialeah, ditching the patrol car in favor of her blue Volvo and soon picking up a passenger, Corsini Valdes.
A Hialeah officer saw the Volvo and chased it, WFOR reported, until the Volvo crashed between a utility pole and a tree.
WFOR noted that initial reports indicated that about two dozen cops from three agencies surrounded the Volvo, and there was an exchange of gunfire, killing Montesano and Valdes.
But WFOR later learned that Montesano and Valdes were unarmed when more than 100 rounds were fired at the car for nearly half a minute via handguns and department-issued AR-15 assault rifles; two sources with knowledge of the investigation told WFOR that no guns were found inside the Volvo.
Which would mean that the two officers shot at the scene were hit by police, WFOR said. (One officer was shot in the arm; the other was hit in the arm as well and sustained a graze to the head, WFOR reported, adding that a third was injured by shattering glass.)
The sources who spoke to WFOR about the lack of a weapon in the Volvo added that it doesn’t indicate police were wrong for firing at it, knowing Montesano had shot Officer Rodriguez and likely was armed — and at least one officer claimed someone inside the Volvo shot at him during an earlier chase.
But WFOR also learned that Montesano left Rodriguez’ gun inside the police cruiser after ditching it; one theory is that Montesano may have tossed the gun he used at the Walgreens stick-up before he and Valdes were killed. Gun-sniffing dogs have been tracing the Volvo’s escape route in hopes of finding the weapon, but the sources told WFOR that no luck so far.
Here are two reports from WFOR: