MIAMI -- A shootout erupted in Miami as a police task force served a homicide warrant Thursday, killing two police officers and the suspect, authorities said.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said the first officer had been shot once and died at the scene. The second officer, who was shot several times, was taken to a hospital and later died, Alvarez said.
On Thursday afternoon, Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus identified the deceased officers: Roger Castillo, a parent of three children, and Amanda Haworth, a parent of one child.
Police identified the suspect as Johnny Simms.
Alvarez said a squad of Miami-Dade police officers -- who are part of the career criminal unit of the warrants division -- was serving a homicide warrant from the city of Miami when there was a confrontation.
"This unit is very well-trained, very well-armed, and highly protects itself," said Alvarez, a former police officer. "So they know what they're doing. It was just a tragic incident that we see here too often in Miami-Dade, of a violent suspect who could care less."
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), condemned the acts of violence in an official statement.
"My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragic and senseless deaths of two Miami-Dade officers this morning," he said. "I have been deeply concerned about Florida's relaxed gun control laws and now more than ever it is clear that stronger gun control measures are needed."
Barry Golden, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in South Florida, said the two officers who were shot were working with a Marshals fugitive task force. The task force works to arrest people wanted for crimes from all over the country. He didn't immediately have details on what the task force had been working on Thursday.
Meanwhile, two schools had been placed on lockdown as residents waited outside their homes in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood. Streets were blocked off with police tape as U.S. marshals walked the streets in riot gear.