MIAMI (WSVN) - A Doral Police sergeant is walking in the hospital a day after he was shot in the chest at a police training facility.
Eric Fernandez, 29, suffered broken ribs and a pierced lung after he was accidentally shot, at around 11:30 a.m., Wednesday.
The 29-year-old is a father of one and has another child on the way.
According to Doral Police, the Wednesday morning training was not a live fire training, meaning real bullets were not supposed to be used. However, a live round was inside a gun, and an officer ended up shooting the 29-year-old.
The shooting happened inside what police call a “shoot house,” a building with multiple rooms where officers train to search for and encounter subjects.
Fernandez was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
Doral Police Chief Hernan Organvidez expressed how the department feels knowing the sergeant is recovering quickly.
“We’re blessed because six inches either way, we wouldn’t be here today speaking about his recovery,” he said. “We have to move forward as a department and as a community and learn from mistakes — if there were any — and move forward.”
7News cameras captured several police officers from different agencies and family members walking into the hospital, Wednesday.
Sgt. Steadman Stahl, the president of the Miami-Dade County Police Benevolent Association, was among those that visited Fernandez at the hospital, Thursday.
“That’s what we’re all about here,” he said. “If one falls, we all fall. I was stunned. He’s up and talking. Yesterday, we were looking at the worst-case scenario, and he’s upbeat. He’s got family, friends and fellow officers showing their support.”
In a statement released to 7News, Fernandez’s wife said the family appreciates the outpouring of love from the community.
“We appreciate the love and support that we have received from the entire police community, all of our family and friends. We are just focusing on getting Eric back on his feet to continue fulfilling his duty as a training officer and his duty as a father,” Fernandez’s wife said.
Doral resident Fernando Horruitiner was Fernandez’s student at the Citizen’s Police Academy. The students graduated Thursday night after an eight-week course.
“Everybody was very matter of fact about that and very clear, so — all about safety,” Horruitiner said.
While their scenarios were fake, the students said they were shocked and saddened Fernandez was injured during real training with other police officers.
“Sgt. Fernandez, thank you for everything you do everyday, and I’m so glad to hear that you are getting out soon,” Horruitiner said. “From the bottom of all of our hearts, I know that I can speak for everybody in that class to say thank you and Godspeed recovery to you.”
Fernandez will not require surgery for his recovery, but he will have to go through some physical therapy.
The 29-year-old told 7News that he’s looking forward to “getting back out there.”
Miami-Dade Police are investigating the shooting.
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