Teen indicted on murder charge in officer’s fatal shooting

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — A teenager with a lengthy arrest record was indicted Thursday on a first-degree murder charge in the fatal shooting of a South Florida police officer.

A Broward County grand jury formally charged Jason Banegas, 18, in last month’s shooting of Officer Yandy Chirino, according to court records. Police had previously arrested Banegas on murder and other charges, but the formal indictment allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

Hollywood police officers confronted Banegas the night of Oct. 17 after getting a call about a man trying to break into cars, police said. Chirino spotted the teen first and tried to arrest him, but Banegas allegedly resisted and pulled out a stolen semi-automatic handgun, the arrest warrant said.

Banegas told detectives he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he drew the gun and pulled the trigger, according to the warrant. The shot hit Chirino in the face, officials said.

A second officer arrived moments later and received several scrapes before finally getting the teen into handcuffs. Chirino’s fellow officers tried to keep him alive as he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

According to the warrant, Banegas confessed to the break-ins and to resisting his arrest.

The gun used to shoot Chirino was stolen from a car in Miami-Dade County in September, the warrant said.

Attorneys for Banegas didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment about the charges.

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