WSVN-TV - Officer shot; 1 suspect dead and another arrested
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida detective is recovering in the hospital after he was shot during an assignment.
The shooting occurred along 57th Avenue and Coral Way at around 6:45 p.m., Tuesday.
The victim, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau, was investigating a home when he was shot three times in the abdomen. A witness who identified herself as "Gloria" described what she saw as she took her nightly walk in the area. "A red vehicle turned on 62nd and Eighth very quickly. It looked like it almost ran the red light and the police car came after it," she said.
Law enforcement officers from agencies all over the county then went on a manhunt for the suspects. Authorities shut down several blocks of Coral Way near Southwest 62nd Avenue as they searched for the shooters.
Before the shooting occurred, a tip came into Miami-Dade Police and the FBI. Miami-Dade Police Detective Javier Baez talked about what happened after authorities received that tip. He said, "At approximately 7 o'clock this evening, Miami-Dade Police officers, along with the FBI, received a tip in regards to a narcotics investigation occurring at a residence behind me. At that particular time, detectives approached the residence, and they were encountered by a white Latin male in his early 50s."
That is when, police said, one of the subjects opened fire, striking the officer. "As they approached this individual, there was a second individual inside of a vehicle who, out of nowhere, began to open fire on the detectives," said Baez. "Those detectives returned fire, striking this individual and subsequently killed him on the scene. The second individual, they detained him and apprehended him, and he's currently being questioned."
The detective was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital and was rushed into surgery. More than 100 members of law enforcement from across South Florida came out to the hospital to show support for the officer. "If we're going to be anywhere, we want to be here," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Roy Rutland. "We have the best doctors in the country taking care of our cops."
Tuesday night, the victim got out of surgery. Doctors said the officer is now in stable condition and is expected to survive. "He is awake and talking, his breathing tube is out and he's out of surgery, so he's relatively stable," said Dr. Marc Grossman.
Meanwhile, back at the scene of the shooting, some residents in the area are unable to get to their homes due to heavy police presence. Resident Oriemis Argote said, "We've lived here for 31 years now, and this is the first crazy thing that has ever happened. I was at the house and my dad heard gunshots, but he said, 'There's somebody throwing fireworks,' and all of a sudden, all this happened."
"It sounded like a series of gunshots. I can't tell you if the officer had the opportunity to fire back, but from what I understand and from what I heard, it sounded like fireworks," said resident Julian Arroyo. "What can you do? We're living in a place where everybody wants to be different characters, different personalities, and you never know who's coming through your door. Miami's a place where all kinds of things happen."
Authorities said Miami-Dade Police shot one of the suspects after the officer was shot. The other suspect was taken into custody.
As of Wednesday morning, Coral Way remains closed between Southwest 59th Avenue and 62nd Avenue, as detectives stay on scene to continue their investigation.