Child used as human shield, saved by police officer

WSVN — It was a frightening moment as, police said, a man held a young child as a human shield. They said this child had already survived a near death experience just months earlier. The Nightteam’s Rosh Lowe has the story in tonight’s edition of The Lowedown.

It was a stormy Friday evening off Northeast 170th Street and Ninth Avenue in Northeast Miami-Dade. A cellphone video showed the scene.

Moments earlier, police say Darnal Munday was in his car with his young son, and he refused to get out.

Officer Joseph Cruz, Miami-Dade Police: “When we got there there was very heavy rain. The little boy’s mother had come outside from the apartment building. She had told us that her son’s father wouldn’t exit the vehicle, was refusing to exit the vehicle.”

Officer Cruz told Munday to get out of the car with his child.

Officer Joseph Cruz: “He leaned over to his left, and I saw the handle of a revolver sticking out of his pocket. He reached down, grabbed the revolver and kept his hand on it, and I pulled out my gun immediately and I yelled, ‘Gun!'”

And, police say, that’s when Munday put his 3-year-old child in front of him.

Officer Joseph Cruz: “I was left out in the open. He didn’t know I wasn’t going to shoot him because the child was in the line of fire.”

Here you have a Miami-Dade Police officer, who is a father himself of a 1-year-old little girl, who was facing a suspect with a gun and using a child as a human shield.

Officer Joseph Cruz: “I just reacted. I ran around the other side of the vehicle. The door was open. I was able to Tase the father. After we had taken him into custody, I was made aware by another officer that this was the same child.”

The same child who cops say had already survived the pain of a bullet.

Last August, cops say the little boy was looking for an iPad in his home. Instead he found a gun in his dad’s dresser, and accidentally shot himself in the face. He made a miraculous recovery, but would once again become a victim.

Officer Joseph Cruz: “I felt bad because the child was screaming through the whole event. It was traumatic to go through what he had already gone through before getting shot in the face. And then having to go through this again, being used as basically a shield. The kid looked terrified.”

7News contacted the child’s mother. She says she never called police. In fact, she says her son wasn’t there. But we showed little Darnal’s picture to the officer who was there.

Rosh Lowe: “Let me show you the photograph of this little boy. This was the boy that you rescued.”

Officer Joseph Cruz: “Yeah.”

Munday was hauled off to jail on child abuse charges, and Darnal’s mother refused to speak about this story.

But the story of rescue, the story of help, the story of heroism is there.

Officer Joseph Cruz: “It’s overwhelming. At the end, when all is said and done, you realize how tunnel vision exists. Everything just narrows down to just, ‘I gotta get that gun away from this guy.’ It was pretty scary.”

Miami-Dade Police have notified the Department of Children and Families about the situation.

In Northeast Miami-Dade, Rosh Lowe, 7News.

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