Slain officer was trying to take gun from teen who said he wanted to shoot himself: police

Eileen Kelley, Lisa J. Huriash and Angie DiMichele (TNS)
A Hollywood Police Department crime scene investigator places markers at the scene where officer Yandy Chirino was killed in Hollywood, Florida on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. The officer was killed during a late-night altercation with a teenage suspect and died at the hospital. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The police officer who was shot in the face and killed Sunday night was trying to take a stolen gun out of the hands of an 18-year-old who told investigators he was trying to shoot himself.

Jason Banegas, 18, pulled a stolen 9 mm semi-automatic handgun from his pocket during a violent fight with Officer Yandy Chirino.

“When he thought the officer was clear of the muzzle, he pulled the trigger,” the warrant says.

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Banegas told detectives he did not know Chirino was shot, the warrant says.

Chirino died early Monday after responding to a call of a suspicious man riding a bicycle from house to house in Hollywood, according to court records.

Two minutes after Chirino stopped Banegas, another officer arrived and saw Chirino and Banegas on the ground in a grassy area, Banegas holding a pistol and Chirino attempting to take it away from him, the warrant says.

The second officer kicked Banegas, knocking the gun out of his hand. Banegas then started to fight the second officer, who was scraped and scratched.

After the officer handcuffed Banegas, he noticed Chirino was unresponsive and shot in the face, the warrant says. He began CPR. Other officers continued CPR in a police car headed to the hospital.

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Chirino, 28, was pronounced dead at Memorial Regional Hospital shortly after 1 a.m. Monday.

Banegas was armed with a gun that had been stolen from a car over a month ago in Miami-Dade County, the warrant says. Banegas later told detectives he had the gun for about 24 hours.

At the crime scene, which surrounded a neighborhood park, detectives found a red bike with a white basket in the street, two sneakers and a pool of blood where Chirino was shot on the ground, the warrant says.

Banegas told police that after he took a bike, he attempted to open the doors of eight cars, and three of them were unlocked. After he left the stolen items on a bench, Banegas told police he rode the bike out into the road when he was stopped by Chirino.

As he tried to pedal away, Chirino grabbed him and he “panicked,” knowing he had a gun and was recently released from Miami-Dade County jail, the warrant says.

Just 30 days ago, Banegas was freed from jail in Miami-Dade County on burglary, trespassing and cocaine charges.

In addition to a first-degree murder charge, Banegas, of Miami, faces charges of grand theft of a firearm; resisting arrest with violence; and burglary, among other possible charges.

Banegas will be represented by the public defender’s office. Blockmon ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation at the request of his lawyer. He was denied bond.

At 18, Banegas had already been arrested six times before, records show, being detained for the first time by Miami-Dade Police at 14.

Another Hollywood police officer died early Monday from an apparent suicide, according to reports.