FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Officer Yandy Chirino, 28, a four-year veteran of the Hollywood Police Department, died after being shot Sunday night during an altercation with a teenage suspect.
Police Chief Chris O’Brien’s voice broke as he shared the news of the young officer’s death at a news conference Monday morning.
Chirino had been recognized multiple times in his career and was Officer of the Month in June 2020, O’Brien said, adding that there are no words that can provide comfort for what Chirino’s family is feeling now.
“Hollywood Police will stand with you in the days ahead,” he said.
Few details were provided about the overnight shooting. The suspect is Jason Venegas, 18.
Investigators at the crime scene were seen putting yellow markers around clothing on a sidewalk with a Hollywood Police SUV parked nearby early Monday. A bicycle was on the ground in front of the SUV near Mara Berman Giulianti Park at 4151 N. Hills Drive.
Fellow officers who stood on either side of O’Brien as he spoke at the news conference at the police station had black bands across their badges, a symbol that they have lost one of their own.
The flag at the Hollywood Police Department, which towers over a memorial of its fallen officers, was flying at half-staff Monday morning.
The chief said that Chirino’s death was a reminder that the men and women of the police force respond to crime scenes resulting in the worst days of somebody’s life and some of the worst things that humanity has to offer.
“Officers face this danger every day, and not many professions offer such a dangerous threat day in and day out. [Chirino] left the safety of his home to come to work … for the safety of his community, and tragically he will not be coming home tonight,” O’Brien said.
“This is indeed a sad day for the entire community,” said Mayor Josh Levy. “The Hollywood community is united in grief and sadness for this young officer.”
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