Man accused of killing Hollywood officer appears in court, gets no bond

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The man accused of killing a Hollywood police officer Sunday night was ordered held with no bond in his initial court appearance Tuesday.

Jason Banegas, 18, is accused of shooting Officer Yandy Chirino in the face.

Chirino, 28, died from his injuries.

Banegas appeared in Broward bond court Tuesday morning after being booked into the county jail Monday evening. He was shackled and dressed in a suicide-prevention smock and looked down most of the time, not saying much, other than briefly acknowledging Judge Tabitha Blackmon at one point.

The judge said Banegas was out on juvenile probation stemming from previous arrests and found probable cause for a felony murder charge. While reading the arrest report, Blackmon also revealed that Chirino was shot in the face, leading to his death.

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“I am going to hold him on no bond based on these allegations that the victim officer was allegedly shot in the face, which led to his ultimate demise,” she said.

Jason Banegas is accused of fatally shooting Hollywood police Officer Yandy Chirino on Oct. 17, 2021. (Broward Sheriff’s Office)

Court records show Banegas had been released from a Miami-Dade County jail last month. He now faces charges including premeditated felony murder, resisting an officer with violence, armed burglary and grand theft of a firearm.

Banegas has an extensive criminal history that dates back to the age of 12, when he was accused of resisting an officer without violence. Since then, Banegas has faced charges that include burglary, property damage and grand theft auto.

Last year alone, Banegas was arrested on charges of burglary, trespassing, and marijuana and cocaine possession near a school.

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The fatal shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday after Hollywood police received reports about a suspicious person in the Emerald Hills community in Hollywood. Neighbors said they noticed someone riding a bike driveway to driveway, grabbing door handles of cars in the normally quiet neighborhood on North Hills Drive near 43rd Avenue.

Surveillance cameras from the area capture someone matching Banegas’ description checking for unlocked cars while on a bike.

Chirino, who initially wasn’t even supposed to be working that night, was shot by Banegas as the suspect fought with the responding officers, police said.

Chirino, who graduated from Miami Coral Park Senior High and worked for Hollywood police since 2017, is remembered as a dedicated officer who was recognized multiple times for his work ethic.

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“He was a great officer and will have a lasting impact on our community,” Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien said Monday, adding that Chirino “gave his life honorably and without hesitation.”

Copyright 2021 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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