Miami-Dade police early Wednesday arrested a 19-year-old they believe unleashed a hail of gunfire that nearly killed two undercover detectives.
Damian “Damo” Thompson was charged with two counts of attempted murder after being questioned by homicide detectives through the night.
The ambush-style attack happened on Monday night, when detectives Terence White and Charles Woods pulled into the Annie Coleman housing projects, while monitoring a suspicious car. Suddenly, a group of men approached and one opened fire with a high-powered rifle.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Bradenton Herald
At least eight rounds struck their unmarked minivan, blowing out the front passenger window. One of the detectives returned fire through the windshield.
White, 47, was shot in the leg. Woods, 37, was grazed on the arm. Fellow police officers rushed to their aid and whisked the two to Ryder Trauma Center on the back of a pickup truck.
White, who had arrested Thompson in January on a weapons charge, identified Thompson the teen as the shooter, according to an arrest report released on Wednesday.
Thompson did not confess, according to a law-enforcement source. However, according to his arrest report, Thompson “acknowledged knowing Detective White.”
A tip led Miami-Dade homicide detectives to Thompson, a suspected associate of a neighborhood gang called the 13th Avenue Hot Boyz. They tracked him early Tuesday to a Hyatt hotel near Miami International Airport.
At the hotel, Thompson hid underneath bed sheets and then fought with officers who came to detain him, according to an arrest report. “I’m going to kill both of ya’ll,” he allegedly yelled.
The officers “continued to strike” Thompson to “gain compliance” until he was handcuffed, according to his arrest report.
Thompson was also charged with battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence.
He spent the better part of Tuesday and all morning Wednesday being questioned by Miami-Dade homicide detectives.
The teen did not have an extensive criminal record.
Thompson was arrested by Miami police in November 2016 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
According to an arrest report, a Miami patrolman saw Thompson drop several plastic bags of crack cocaine as he stood on the corner of Northwest 62nd Street and 12th Parkway. He claimed he found the bags in the Liberty Square Projects.
Prosecutors never pursued charges and the case was dropped.
His second arrest came in January during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. That day, Detective White was working in plainclothes and was informed by an anonymous source that there was a “wanted subject” in the courtyard of the “PSU” projects in Brownsville, according to a search warrant filed in court.
When the officer neared a group of people, Thompson took off, the warrant says. The detective said Thompson dropped a dark-colored gun that he pulled from his waistband.
As another officer collared and detained Thompson and the first officer recovered the weapon, a 9mm Glock.
Thompson was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. His trial is set for June 12.