Florida police officer, 28, killed in overnight confrontation with teenage suspect

HOLLYWOOD (Fla.) It all began with a call about an unidentified person. A young man rode a brightly colored bicycle and pulled up to parked cars, giving the handles a tug.
Within 25 minutes, the emergency had been resolved. After a shooting and death of a police officer, a flurry police officers in tactical gear ran into the area. This led to an extensive overnight search that included foot and air searches for several hours.

I believe I have an officer shot, said a winded officer from Emerald Hills. He was shouting into the police radio at midnight Sunday. The neighborhood is lined with trees and has parks and canals. It's located between Stirling Road, Sheridan Street. The same officer is heard saying, 42 seconds later, "Yeah, I got an Officer Shot," according to Broadcastify. Broadcastify records radio scanners of police officers.

Police quickly grabbed Officer Yandy Cherrio and rushed him to Memorial Hospital. Doctors were unable save his life. Chirino (28 years old) had been with the department for 4 years.

Jason Banegas is the suspect in Chirino's murder.

Police provided few details Monday about the encounter. Police had not yet booked the suspect into jail by 5:30 p.m.

Christian Lata, Officer Christian said that he could tell you that Chirino was a great person.

Lata stated that he spoke with Chirino last week when Chirino told Lata that he had spent the day cheering on the Hollywood Police Athletic Leagues' youth football team against a Miami league. Lata stated that this is the type of person he was.

Chris OBrien, Chief of Police, broke down as he announced the news about the death of the young officers at a Monday morning news conference. The chief stated that Chirino had been honored multiple times during his short career, and was named Officer of the Month in June 2020.

The death of Chirinos was a reminder of how the police respond to crime scenes, OBrien stated.

Continue the story

OBrien stated that I wanted to remind everyone of the real dangers officers face every day. We often take these dangers for granted, or minimize them.

He said that there aren't many professions in which you would risk your life to protect others every day.

Officer Chirino, who was in safety at home, went to work last night to protect his community. He will be missing his family this morning.

Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy joined OBrien, other officers, and was present during the announcement. To be here this morning in grief and sadness at the loss of this young man serves as a reminder of both the dangers that our officers face every single day and the fragility of human life.

The social media profiles of Chirinos reveal that he lived a long life for a man who never reached his 30th birthday.

In a YouTube video Chirino uploaded six years ago, the narrator states that life is not really very long.

Let's assume that the average person is thirty years old. The unknown narrator continues to tell the story in the feed Chirino created for his movie. What amount of traveling have you done over the past 30 years?

The video shows Chirino and Princess Maria powering through the water on a Jet Ski with their girlfriend Princess Maria. He also does zip lining, river rafting and other adventure activities in this video, which is just one of many videos he has posted about their trips to places like Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Epcot.

Chirino graduated with the Police Academy Class 308 and he has dedicated his life to law enforcement.

Many people took to social media Monday in an attempt to vent their grief.

It is always hard when a community loses a police officers in the line-of-duty, Plantation Police Officer Joseph Mercogliano shared on Facebook. It hurts even more when the deceased cadet is involved. RIP Officer Yandy Chirino (badge) #3534. I, the community of PA Class 308, and you will be missed.

According to an online profile, Chirino was a soccer player who attended Miami Coral Park Senior High. He graduated in 2011.

His social media presence showed a young man with big hearts.

The AXE Peace line introduced male grooming products in 2014. It encouraged its followers to send #KissForPeace a photo of their love and they would be featured on a Times Square billboard. Chirino was twice tagged by the company in 2014. One: Youre kinda big deal. And another: How does being famous feel? Just in New York City, your #KissForPeace has just been launched!

Police say Banegas faces first-degree murder charges, armed burglary and battery on a police officer, grand theft, and resisting arrest by violence.

The suspect killer is just 18 years old and already has a long list of arrests. According to state records, Banegas has been in a series of encounters with police throughout Miami-Dade County, on charges including car theft, burglary and mischief.

Miami Police took Banegas into custody in September 2018 on suspicion of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute or sell near a school. This charge was not pursued by the prosecutors. He was arrested by Miami-Dade County Police on burglary and trespassing offenses in February 2020. According to records, he was charged with stealing a vehicle and resisting an officer. He was also arrested by Coral Gables police for burglary. However, prosecutors dropped that case. He was charged by Miami-Dade Schools Police with criminal mischief and burglary in 2016. He was also charged in 2015 with resisting violence an officer.

On Monday morning, investigators placed yellow markers on sidewalks to mark the crime scene. Nearby was a Hollywood Police SUV. Near Mara Berman Giulianti Park, at 4151 N. Hills Drive, a bicycle was found on the ground.

Elliot Kugelman who lives in the area where the shooting took place said that police had warned residents about two or more people riding bicycles through the streets to test the doors of cars in order to see if they were safe.

Kugelman stated that his son-in law was contacted by Kugelman and informed him that his car had been raked through at 10:30 on Sunday.

Kugelman said that Hollywood police, their SWAT team and officers from nearby agencies canvassed the area after the shooting. They knocked on doors and walked through yards with dogs to search for suspects.

Many residents claimed that helicopters circled over the area overnight for extended periods of time.

Late Monday, it was unclear when and how the suspect was detained by police.

Susie Loberfeld lives in the same neighborhood as her daughter for seven years. They tied a blue ribbon around their tree in front of their house on Monday evening.

Loberfeld stated that they just wanted the Hollywood Police Department to know how much we care for them. He was there to protect me and my family.

Nearly every block of North 41st Street had blue ribbons tied to trees or mailboxes.

Daphne, a resident, was alerted to the arrest by a friend late Monday morning. She was unnerved by it. She is a regular runner and walker, but Monday was unsafe because of the number of people walking, pushing strollers, and running in the area.

It was just that I didn't feel safe leaving my home. They do so much for our community, she said. She spoke highly of the police, saying that they do so much to help our community. It is so tragic that this man was killed for being so stupid.

Monday evening, a temporary memorial was attached to the fence at the park where the shooting occurred. The memorial was graced with yellow roses and bouquets of purple and pink carnations. A sign was printed that stated Officer Yandy Chirino thanks you for your bravery in protecting our community.

A girl in her school years, holding one white rose, walked up to the fence with a note attached: "Rest in peace Officer Yandy Chirino. May you rest in peace in heaven."

This report was contributed by Brooke Baitinger, Juan Ortega, and Joe Cavaretta, staff photojournalist.