Report on teen shot by Miami-Dade cop fills in some blanks but also raises questions

·3 min read
Miami-Dade Police

The arrest report for the 15-year-old left paralyzed from a gunshot by a Miami-Dade police officer early Sunday sheds some new light on the aftermath of a stolen car case that turned violent, but some details about what led to the shooting remain murky.

An arrest form obtained by the Miami Herald Tuesday describes Vito Corleone-Vinisee — in one of two cars police wound up chasing that morning — pulling a black handgun from his pocket and running toward a Northwest Miami-Dade apartment complex after the vehicle he was in crashed. The report said officers in tactical gear with police markings repeatedly identified themselves and yelled for him to stop before one fired his weapon.

”At that time one of the MDPD officers discharged his firearm once, striking the defendant,” an officer wrote in the report. “The defendant dropped the black firearm to the ground and was taken into custody.”

It does not say if Corleone-Vinisee ever pointed the weapon at anyone. The unidentified officer, who police said was a 29-year veteran, fired once. The report doesn’t say where the bullet that left the teen in critical condition entered his body.

Police union president Steadman Stahl said additional details will be filled in as a trial for the teen nears.

“The officer wouldn’t have shot him if he wasn’t in fear for his life or the life of others,” said the Police Benevolent Association president. Florida law generally gives police officers broad latitude to open fire if they feel a suspect is a threat to them or others.

Corleone-Vinisee’s family and their attorney declined to comment.

The teen has been able to speak but remains paralyzed from the neck down at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He was officially charged Tuesday with two felonies, possession of a firearm by a minor and resisting an officer without violence. He was also charged with failing to appear at two court appearances late last year from 2020 arrests for attempted burglary and robbery.

The four-paragraph narrative on the teen’s arrest form closely mirrors an earlier Miami Herald story. It says Miami-Dade Police were working a “saturation detail” in the county’s Northside District at about 12:40 a.m. Sunday when officers in tactical vests and unmarked vehicles noticed a 2021 Dodge Challenger following another vehicle that had been reported stolen.

The beefed-up police force was in response to the ambush and murder last week of Brownsville rapper Wavy Navy Pooh, whose real name is Shandler Beaubien and who police believe was involved in several murders in the county’s north end in 2021. Police feared retaliatory shootings.

The teen’s arrest form says police ordered the two cars to stop but instead both took off. The other vehicle, which the Herald reported was a Dodge Charger stolen from Miami Gardens, is not mentioned again in the report. According to the report, as police chased the Challenger, the driver lost control and crashed through a chain-link fence and into a tree on Northwest 22nd Avenue and 56th Street in Partners Park.

As police moved toward the car, the narrative says Corleone-Vinisee — who police earlier had said was the driver — jumped out and began to run, “simultaneously reaching into the front pocket of his hoodie.” A block later, at 56th Street and 22nd Avenue, police say he pulled the weapon from a pocket in his hoodie and the officer fired.

Police, who said they rendered aid to the teenager until Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived, reported finding a black Glock handgun near him on the ground and a semiautomatic rifle in the back seat of the car. The department earlier released photos of both weapons. The report makes no mention of several other males who police earlier said were in the car and took off. It also doesn’t address whether Vito was driving the vehicle.