A Miami-Dade police officer who was wounded several times Wednesday during a short distance shooting with a thief suspect was able to walk with the support of colleagues in a hospital.
The man who was the subject of the investigation died in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter at Northwest 79th Street and Northwest 32nd Avenue. His body lay between two cars and under a yellow tarp; Multiple yellow markers from the crime scene dot the nearby lane.
The officer, who was not identified, is expected to have a full recovery, Juan Pérez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department told reporters at a press conference in front of Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami
Calling the shots "another tragic event," Pérez said, "We need to stop the violence, at all levels, not only against the officers, but against the security." Imagine if security approached that guy without a weapon of fire? "
The wounded officer," one of the best officers we have, "is a seven-year veteran and a researcher from the county's Northside district. Married to a primary school teacher, he is the father of two small children. The officer wore a uniform while working on the off-duty shift in the store, and it was not known if he was wearing a bulletproof vest, Pérez said.
While investigating a possible robbery at the Walmart, the officer confronted someone in the parking lot, Pérez said.
"And that ended in a violent encounter between a subject and the police officer," Pérez said. "To be honest and frank, what happened today is that the officer who is lying in that bed behind us was born again today because, at close range, he was able to survive multiple gunshot wounds …"
The officer He returned the fire with his service weapon. The fallen man's weapon lay on the ground near his body, said Perez.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting that occurred around 1 p.m. No other suspects are searched.
The injured officer was "in good condition, and now he's in a good mood despite being shot multiple times," Pérez said. "God was with him."
He said the officer was working to earn extra money for his family during the holidays.
Pérez said that the police and the community should work together to identify those who have firearms but should not be armed.
"Because when all this is said and done, it's going to be the same story again," Pérez said. "We're going to see this guy and we're going to run his name and he's probably going to have a past, probably he should never have had that gun, but here we are again, a close call where someone almost loses their lives for some products in a Walmart, it should never have happened, it should never have come to this. "