Family of bystander killed in UPS hijacking shootout wants answers

Officials have not said if it was police bullets or suspects' that killed him.

December 17, 2019, 5:22 PM

The family of a bystander who was killed during a police shootout in Florida is pleading for answers as to exactly what happened "and what went wrong."

Richard Cutshaw, 70, was shot and killed on a highway in Miramar during a shooting between police and two suspects that erupted after an attempted jewelry store robbery and hijacking of a UPS truck on Dec. 5, which prompted a chase that spanned some 20 miles and ended with bullets flying, according to authorities.

Officials have not yet released whose bullets -- police or the suspects -- killed the innocent civilian.

The attorney for the Cutshaw family said Tuesday they are investigating the incident and looking at whether or not police protocol was followed.

PHOTO: An undated photo shows Richard Cutshaw, 70, a bystander who was killed in a shootout in Miramar Fla., on Dec. 5, 2019.
An undated photo shows Richard Cutshaw, 70, a bystander who was killed in a shootout in Miramar Fla., on Dec. 5, 2019.
Courtesy Thomas Cutshaw

"Ultimately what we’re doing is trying to piece together exactly what happened and what went wrong," attorney Matt Morgan said at a press conference. "There was a failure that occurred at some point in time during this chase."

Morgan said he heard that about 20 officers fired their guns during the highway shootout.

Rod Skirvin, president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, told ABC News last week that at least 18 officers fired their guns.

"Bullets sprayed across this intersection as if it were a war zone, but it wasn’t a war zone," Morgan said.

The family hopes the investigation will become a case study to show law enforcement what not to do in incidents like the one that left Cutshaw dead.

There was a failure that occurred at some point in time during this chase

"We know that ultimately the Cutshaws want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to another family," he added.

The incident unfolded around 4:15 p.m. local time on Dec. 5 when two men attempted to rob Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables, authorities said.

After shots were fired, the suspects carjacked a UPS truck, held the driver hostage and led police on a high-speed pursuit before engaging in a shootout.

The two suspects, identified by the FBI as Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, were killed in the shootout.

The UPS driver, Frank Ordonez, was also killed in the shooting.

PHOTO: An undated photo shows Frank Ordonez, who was killed in a shootout in Miramar Fla., on Dec. 5, 2019, in a UPS uniform.
An undated photo shows Frank Ordonez, who was killed in a shootout in Miramar Fla., on Dec. 5, 2019, in a UPS uniform.
Ordonez Family/Facebook

Like Cutshaw, authorities have not yet released whose bullets killed Ordonez.

His stepfather told ABC News in a previous interview that the family wants answers.

"Officers are here to serve and protect. Well, where was the protection offered of my son? Where was his protection?" Merino said. "He was a victim. He was a hostage."

"It could've been handled differently," Merino said.

Ordonez leaves behind two daughters, ages 3 and 5. Cutshaw leaves behind his 99-year-old mother and five brothers and sisters.

ABC News' Victor Oquendo contributed to this report.

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