MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade Police officer had to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital after being shot in the face. Meanwhile, a person has been detained in connection to the shooting.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units arrived at the scene of the injured officer at a shopping center located on Northwest 183rd Street, near 67th Avenue, Monday afternoon.
The officer, who has since been released from the hospital, was inside a white vehicle, which had a bullet hole in the driver’s side windshield.
7Skyforce hovered over the scene where the officer was seen on a stretcher, as first responders placed him into a rescue helicopter.
“One of my Robbery and Intervention Detail officers was working surveillance on a car-jacking vehicle,” said MDPD Director Freddy Ramirez. “While he was observing the vehicle, the subject cowardly shot at my officer. Never exited the car, my officer didn’t even get a chance to get a round out. That officer bravely got on the air, put his coordinates to where he was at and coordinated resources to respond.”
Ramirez had a strong message for anyone who thinks they can ambush one of his officers.
“I’m here to tell you, we aren’t going to stand for that,” he said.
The officer who was shot is 34 years old and has been on the police force for six years. Before joining MDPD, he was a school resource officer.
He was alert and conscious, as he was transported.
Officers have been on the scene for hours as they continued their investigation.
A massive manhunt for the shooter led officers to the City of Miramar where the car of the alleged shooter was spotted.
Special Response Teams arrived to the Haven Lakes Estates mobile home park at 11201 SW 55th St.
Police sources told 7News that this area interested detectives because a black Volkswagen Jetta, which matched the description of the shooter’s vehicle, was located in the driveway at the mobile home park by Miramar Police.
A license plate reader flagged the car involved in the shooting of the officer. Then, Miramar Police resources spotted it in the neighborhood.
7Skyforce hovered over the scene where a large police force with guns drawn were seen in the community, and a person was seen being detained by a group of police.
Red Road near the southside of the Florida Turnpike was shutdown as police continued their investigation and locked down the community for hours.
Tien Phan’s parents live in community. Speaking on behalf of her mother, she said, “She saw a lot of like police in armor that had long guns like walking around … They just got scared and went in. Like, police didn’t say anything.”
Police kept residents out while the search continued.
“I live there for 13 years and nothing ever happened,” said a woman, “said nobody can go in and it’s dangerous.”
Back at Jackson Memorial Hospital, 7News cameras captured loved ones and officers from other agencies at the hospital.
Ramirez was also at the hospital.
7News was told that he was encouraging his officers to get out there and do their part, and that this incident will not slow them down.
“Our officer, thank goodness, is doing OK. He’s going to be all right,” Ramirez said.
This despite, authorities saying he got shot in the face.
“It’s some sort of fragment — we don’t know yet what it is yet — that’s in his skin,” said Ramirez. “The doctors are looking at it. What I do know and what matters to me is that he is alive and well and talking to his family and talking to us.”
In a private moment with the shot officer, Ramirez said the 34-year-old told him, “I am sorry, sir. I want to go right back out.”
The police department has not yet identified the officer who was shot.
In the last few months, MDPD said three officers have been shot, one killed and two stabbed in the line of duty.
“There is nothing worse than watching a mom, a sibling, extremely worried about their family member who does this job each and every day, puts their lives on the line, so I want the community to know, be thankful for the mend and women that serve this community because that coward is the same kind that will kill a child, that will kill you.”
Back at the Miramar search scene, the car was taken away just before 10 p.m., and although residents have been allowed back in the investigation remains active.
Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story.
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