A Miami-Dade officer became a target while on duty after a driver cut her off and fired shots.
The Miami-Dade Police officer was on her routine drive on Interstate 95 when she said she suddenly came under fire. “I was just driving and he cut me off,” said officer Annellis Anduja. “His car ended up in front of mine and that’s just when he began shooting.”
She was driving in her patrol car Saturday, around 3 a.m. when she said she was cut off as she was exiting the highway near Northwest 167th Street. After blowing her horn at the driver, Anduja said gunshots were fired at her. “I’m really lucky. All I saw was this arm and the muzzle backwards,” she said.
After shots were fired, Anduja said she saw flashes from the gun. “I saw a muzzle flash and a barrel,” she said. “I couldn’t tell what kind of gun it was.”
Thinking quickly, Anduja ditched her cruiser in case her attacker returned. “I figured, ‘If I stay in this car, I’m gonna die,'” she said. “So I parked the police vehicle and I bailed out of the car. I ran to the left, which is a little wooded area. And I figured, ‘If he’s gonna come back, he’s gonna shoot at the car. And I’m not going to be in it.’ I’m just not gonna wait to die.”
At that moment, she said she didn’t know if she was going to survive, so she called for help. “I felt like they were firing for no reason. They don’t know who I am outside of this uniform,” she said. “I put on this uniform and I’m an instant target.”
According to the arrest report, there was a search for the suspect, who was later identified as 25-year-old Alejandro Rodriguez.
The suspect, according to officials, kept driving and eventually hit Northwest Second Avenue, heading south. That’s when officials found him and said he had shell casings on his lap. According to a Miami-Dade arrest form, “In plain view, they observed a rifle and a handgun in the back seat of the vehicle and multiple spent casings in the defendant’s lap.”
A police report also stated that Rodriguez told police he fired the shots in the air as warning shots to a driver who was following him.
Rodriguez was arrested, along with his passenger.
For the officer, she said the incident highlights the danger she and her fellow officers face everyday while on duty. On Saturday, however, she made it through. “All those shots that were fired at me, I could have very easily been taken out,” Anduja said. “I mean, it wasn’t my day. It was like I was in this bubble being protected. It wasn’t my day.”
Anduja also told 7News that after she finished her late shift, she went home and said a special prayer to thank a higher power that she made it out of the frightening situation alive. “I feel extremely lucky to be alive,” she said.
Anduja has been on the force for two years.
Rodriguez has been charged with attempted murder and is currently locked up at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
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