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FBI Miami Shootout-11 April 1986

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  • FBI Miami Shootout-11 April 1986

    If you guys can-do a search about this incident. The bad thing about it was that the good guys (well, I can't honestly call any FBI agent a "good guy")didn't have a Mini-14, but the Bad guys did. It has been said that this incident prompted the late Bill Ruger to re-consider alowing High-Cap Mags to be available to the public. My Firearms instructor at the Police Academy went to high school with one of the shooters-Michael Platt-at KOFA high school in Yuma, AZ. I believe he and his partner were Army Rangers-but that could be Urban Legend. What is not Legend though is that Platt fired at least 42 rounds from his Mini-14 and killed 2 FBI Agents, and wounded 5 others. He did not have any malfunctions, and he did use 30 round Ruger Mags. Too bad he didn't have USA Mags!!! but seriously, the details of this incident are frightening. The will of this guy to live and keep in the fight is nothing short of remarkable-in spite of the number of times he was shot by the FBI agents. Very good read.

  • #2
    Here are a few facts that you may not know. He fired his mini right in front of his partner's face and the muzzleblast caused his partner to become dissoriented and to be ineffective. The two had completed special training in the military, but I don't recall if it was Ranger. If the partner, Maddox, had not been disoriented by the muzzleblast, they would probably have wiped out the FBI. They trained fighting as a team and the agents made every mistake that you can make. Two of them lost their pistols when they rammed their car. They had taken them out of their holsters and laid them on the seat before ramming them. They stopped them where the FBI was looking into the bright sun and the bank robbers were in the shade. They were firing at over thirty yards with handguns against people known to carry long arms. Ben Grogan, an excellent shot, had no extra glasses and was practically blind without them. They were broken at the beginning of the shootout. The team leader was blind in one eye and did not see Platt stalking an agent. He was described as moving like a great cat. The first shot fired hit Platt in the heart, but did not penetrate enough to stop him because it went through the rear window first. It was fired by agent Dove who was killed. The bullet was a 9mm Silvertip, a good design for the time, but a poor penetrator. The FBI blamed all of their failures on that one shot and that is how the .40SW came into being. Platt was of course finally stopped with a SW revolver. I assume that it was a Model 13 with 158gr. LSWHP loads that was a common issue at the time. The agent that killed Platt fired one handed like an old duelist even though he had been shot several times. He is an instructor at the FBI academy now and is considered to be a hero. I guess that he is but if they had carried longarms when going after these people that they knew were going to shoot it out with them, there would not have been the carnage that there was.
    Massad Ayoob did an extensive study of the shooting and the activities leading up to it. He once wrote that there had been a third memeber of the gang who could not be prosecuted due to a bungled investigation.

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    • #3
      the FBI went to the downloaded 10mm after this shootout. Lesson #1 don't bring handguns and shotguns to a rifle fight. The FBI knew these guys had 223 rifles from shell casings at their previous robberies!

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      • #4
        tragic incident but the FBI should have know better. Rifle wins everytime, I doubt anyone was complaining about the mini 14 only shooting 4" groups during this shooting.

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        • #5
          yep. When it's up close and personal 4 MOA works as well as .5 MOA.

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          • #6
            Yeah, I read in Ayoob's exhaustive account and saw on the discovery channel re-enactment that the guys were 82nd airborne but had attended some sort of optional training like a pre-ranger course and some other course that sounds like maybe SAIROC. No doubt about it, the guys were the hard core real thing. The FBI had guys at the time who could wipe the floor with those two, but they were obviously not on duty that day.

            The switch to 10mm and expanded small arms training came as a result of analysis of the shootout and other operations that were going on at that time in the drug war. The FBI had adopted a very well thought out system of using the same powerful ammo in handguns and long guns. The handgun being their own S&W 1076 and the long gun being an HK Mp5/10. IMHO, one of the smartest moves they could have made and decades ahead of their time.

            Early on, there were complaints about the recoil of the 10mm pistol with the high power loads that were issue. That prompted the development of a lower powered round for the pistol. Then they ran into some problems with the pistols that I think were more from parts wear, but the parts wear was unpredictable and they dropped the 1076 pistol rather tan continue trying to fix the design. A lot of people thought the problem was accelerated stress of the full power 10mm loads and requested the development of a round specifically engineered around the "lite" load. That eventually became the .40 S&W and it was discovered that most 9mm guns could handle the stress of the lower powered .40 round. I think it was the California Highway Patrol that first officially adopted the round in a slighty modified third generation 56 series pistol which became the 4006, and Glock was the first company outside of S&W to make pistols in that caliber before it was really known if it would be successful or not.
            Life, Liberty and the pursuit of those who threaten them.

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            • #7
              For the truth on the Dixie Highway Shootout read:

              http://communities.prodigy.net/sportsrec/11april86.html

              Just a bit from it...............

              Michael Lee Platt
              6'0" - 173 lbs.

              Born: 3 February 1954
              San Diego, California
              KOFA High School, Yuma,
              Arizona. Graduated 1972
              Stellar 3-Sports Athlete
              Miami-Dade Community College

              U.S. Army (#526087944)
              27 June 1972-1 May 1979
              Honorable Discharge; E-6
              MOS: 11B10, 11B20, 11B30
              Airborne Ranger trained at
              Fort Campbell: 9/73-5/75
              Also served in M.P. Unit there with Matix. Service notation includes "High Combat Proficiency."

              Married and divored from first wife (unknown) in 1972
              Widowed from second wife
              Regina E. Lylen Platt
              Born: 13 September 1952
              Married: 13 October 1975
              Died: 21 December 1984
              Cause of death: Suicide (shotgun to the mouth)

              Third wife: Brenda
              Married, January 1985

              Brother: Timothy Lee Platt

              At the time of his death, Platt lived at 15031 SW 88th Lane, West Kendall.

              William Russell Matix
              6'1" - 147 lbs.

              Born: 25 May 1951
              Lewisburg, Ohio
              New Madison High School, Ohio. Graduated 1969
              Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY
              Grad: 28 December 1979
              National School of Meat Cutting, Toledo, Ohio
              Columbus Technical School, Aviation Maintenance Program:
              Fall 1983-Spring 1984

              Marine Corps (#2578943)
              7 October 1969-7 July 1972
              Honorable Discharge; E-5
              MOS: 3371 (Cook/Supply)
              Tattoo on right forearm of Bulldog and "USMC" with his service number.

              U.S. Army (#2578943)
              10 Aug. 1973-9 Aug. 1976
              Honorable Discharge; E-5
              MOS: Military Police
              101st Airborne Division,
              Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

              Widowed from first wife
              Patricia Buckanich Matix
              Born: 1953
              Married: 1976
              Died: 30 December 1983
              Cause of death: Murder
              One daughter: Melissa
              Born: October 1983

              2nd wife: Christy Lou Horne
              Married: 17 May 1985
              Son: 27 December 1985

              At the time of his death, Matix lived at 15615 SW 85th Avenue, Southwood.

              Both Platt and Matix died within 12 blocks of where they currently lived.
              ****************************************

              Rule 303

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              • #8
                Michael Lee Platt
                6'0" - 173 lbs.

                Born: 3 February 1954
                San Diego, California
                KOFA High School, Yuma,
                Arizona. Graduated 1972
                Stellar 3-Sports Athlete
                Miami-Dade Community College

                U.S. Army (#526087944)
                27 June 1972-1 May 1979
                Honorable Discharge; E-6
                MOS: 11B10, 11B20, 11B30
                Airborne Ranger trained at
                Fort Campbell: 9/73-5/75
                Also served in M.P. Unit there with Matix. Service notation includes "High Combat Proficiency."

                He wasn't a Airborne Ranger.A E-6 who is an Airborne Ranger would have P and V after MOS:11B3
                Airborne Rangers are not trained at Ft. Campbell, but the 101st has had LRSDs there since the early 70's, but since he doesn't have the airborne qualified SQI of "P" I doubt that he was a member.I would be willing to bet that they just got lucky and had enough basic skills to permit them to work togather and the FBI had a very bad day.
                Also, how does one get a "high combat proficiency" rating without being a combat vet ?Entering service in 1972 would probaly mean that you would not be going to Nam.

                [ 25. May 2003, 14:32: Message edited by: Seed People ]

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                • #9
                  What really po's me about this incident was the fact that the FBI did not take them seriously. The agents were well aware that these two were heavely armed, very well practiced and had shown that they were more than willing to use their weapons at the slightest provacation. I mean how do you set out to trail these guys, find them, attempt a felony car stop on a street in a residential area and have only 1 agent carrying any weapon heavier than a handgun, and that was merely a fluke as Agent Morales brought the 12 Gauge shotgun along as an afterthought.

                  The only thing that I can think of is that they said.....Oh man....Were the almighty FBI, these guys will just wet their pants, start crying and give up and we will all be home for dinner after a big "Back Slaping" and posing for pictures session.

                  Boy were they wrong, and in a big way.

                  Seems like Platt even being the murderer he was came to play......was prepared for a fight and willing to "Bring it" when the time came.IMHO the only reason the agents faired as well as they did was because of the front facial gunshot wound taken by Mattix in the begining of the fight or he and his 12 Guage S&W pump would have been a bigger factor. He was out cold for most the 2 minutes that may have turned the tide for himself and Platt and this may have been very crucial to the outcome.

                  Say what you will......they came to fight, most of the FBI guys did not and if not for the bravery,resourcefullness, and shear guts of one of the agents (Morales) it may have turned out even worse.........

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                  • #10
                    didn't one or more of the FBI cars have an H&K MP-5 in the trunk? Or was that just body armor?

                    KP
                    SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS
                    MONTANI SEMPER LIBERI
                    ΜΩΛΩΝ ΛAΒE!

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                    • #11
                      Captain America-I will have to agree with you-according to my firearms instructor, who went to high school and played basketball with Platt, the FBI knew these two had killed some guys at a shooting range in Florida before this incident. They knew about their military training, but yet, they came armed for praire dog, instead of bear. But look what happened at Waco-same thing-they knew those dudes had LOTS of weapons, and ammo, but the Feds still went in like the almighty agency they think they are, and got it handed to them. Same thing happened at Ruby Ridge-those agents probably thought "what harm can a 13 year-old boy possibly do to us?? Oh, well-they found out. They also took the Indian Dudes for granted at Wounded Knee in the 1970's, and paid the price there as well. Too bad those agents didn't have a Mini-14. Those were the good 'ole days-when Mini's worked perfectly!!!

                      [ 30. May 2003, 17:28: Message edited by: AZSherman ]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KP:
                        didn't one or more of the FBI cars have an H&K MP-5 in the trunk? Or was that just body armor?

                        KP
                        There was 1 H&K MP-5 in the trunk of one of the agents cars but it was not one that was included in the rolling stakeout. Those agents were a few miles away doing a parallel search for the Monte Carlo Platt and Mattix were using and did not make it to the scene untill the fight was over.

                        Only 1 of the agents, Gordon McNeil had any body armour(he had a vest in the backseat of his car which he threw on when the fight began. It diden't do him any good, he was one of the first ones hit by Platts Mini and it paralayzed him from the mid chest down(He later recorvered from his wounds).

                        IMHO even if the MP-5 had been on the scene I don't think it would have made any big difference. Platt had already been hit by numerous 9mm rounds(one of which was a fatal chest wound which cut his aorta in two)that he received even before he killed both agents Jerry Dove and Ben Grogan and wounded Agent John Hanlon. Also Mattix had been hit several times, one of which was a 357. mag round fired by Agent McNeil which struck him directly in the face but only knocked him unconsious for a couple of minutes, then he regained consiousness and joined Platt when he tryed to take one of the FBI cars to escape.

                        No, it was painfully obvious, these guys were ready to fight and some of the agents despite all their training weren't.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AZSherman:
                          Captain America-I will have to agree with you-according to my firearms instructor, who went to high school and played basketball with Platt, the FBI knew these two had killed some guys at a shooting range in Florida before this incident. They knew about their military training, but yet, they came armed for praire dog, instead of bear. But look what happened at Waco-same thing-they knew those dudes had LOTS of weapons, and ammo, but the Feds still went in like the almighty agency they think they are, and got it handed to them. Same thing happened at Ruby Ridge-those agents probably thought "what harm can a 13 year-old boy possibly do to us?? Oh, well-they found out. They also took the Indian Dudes for granted at Wounded Knee in the 1970's, and paid the price there as well. Too bad those agents didn't have a Mini-14. Those were the good 'ole days-when Mini's worked perfectly!!!
                          You nailed it Sherman. Two many times this has happened with the Feds. Even in the 30's when they were chasing the Dillinger gang it was the same thing. The agents shot up a hunting lodge and wounded and killed a couple of folks staying at the inn, result....Dillinger got away. When they cornered "Baby Face" Nelson, they new he was a maniac bent on killing as many of them as possible but once again the agents tryed to face him down in an open field with no cover, result....2 dead agents and 1 dead hoodulum. Am I Monday morning quarterbacking......maybe....were the agents brave...no question.....were they DEAD.....YES!!!

                          Too many times, blunder in either killing inocents or using the shield of "WE ARE THE FBI" to stop the bullets......

                          I don't know.......not too smart IMHO..........

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I HAVE always said the Feds should NEVER try and play policeman when it comes to doing street stops and take downs with "players" like Platt and Maddix.

                            Just don't have the training or experieince.
                            AT one time I did... unbelievable things for this country without question, because it was my country and right. NOW, my country, that country, no longer exists and I now I feel I am the Philip Nolan of my age.
                            God carries a 1911.
                            Just another day towards 20...

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                            • #15
                              Ben Grogan was the HEAD of the local FBI Swat Unit, McNeil Was over all Agent in Charge, Dove was just admitteed to the SWAT team and had undergone the training as well, They had access to they HAD the kinda body armor to stop these guys, but, them being the FBI, I guess they thought Platt and Maddox would just surrender to the FEdiots
                              To blame all this on the 9mm when it was poor tatics is typical of the Feds
                              Today A ROokie cop here in W NC Finds Eric Rudolph when umpteen hundred Feds could not,
                              How long is it gonna take em to find REAL Terrorists? IF it wasnt so true it might be funny

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