A Florida off-duty police officer was shot multiple times, but was able to return fire and kill a thief suspect in the parking lot of a Walmart on Wednesday.
The police officer, who was working out of service at the Miami store, sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Television reports showed a body covered with a yellow plastic sheet between two cars in the parking lot. The officer appeared walking with help in the emergency room of the hospital.
"Our officer is going to be fine, right now, he's in good spirits despite being shot multiple times," said Miami-Dade police director Juan Pérez. "God was with him today, I can not emphasize that enough."
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The president of the Police Benefit Association, John Rivera, told NBC that the officer "really saved" his life and the lives of others people "
" This is just another example of how dangerous it is to be a police officer these days, "he said.
The officer was working off duty in uniform to provide security when confronted with theft suspect.
The store and parking lot were filled with holiday buyers, but no one else The identity of the suspect and any details about the alleged theft were not immediately disclosed.
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The officer He is married and he has two children. He is a seven-year veteran of force. Miami-Dade officers frequently work out-of-service security details to earn extra money during vacations.
"He was just trying to do his job," Pérez said. "The dangers are always out there."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the case, as it does with all shootings involving the Miami-Dade police.
With News Wire Services
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