MIAMI, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Miami Police Chief John Timoney said the 2004 expiration of the federal ban on assault weapons has triggered an "arms race" in his city.
"The whole thing is a friggin' disgrace," said Timoney, a longtime advocate of tighter gun control who has authorized patrol officers to carry high-powered, semiautomatic assault rifles like the one used Thursday to kill Miami-Dade County police Sgt. Jose Somohano.
Somohano died and three other officers, all carrying pistols, were injured in a shootout with Shawn LaBeet, who escaped unharmed and hours later was shot dead by police, The Miami Herald reported.
The doctor who operated on one of the wounded officers described the grapefruit-size bullet wound on her right leg as the type you would see in a war, the Herald reported.
Twenty percent of the homicides in Miami this year have been committed with assault weapons. The number was 18 percent in 2006, up from just 4 percent in 2004, The Herald reported.
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