Off-duty officer shot in Palmetto Bay driveway recovering in hospital

PALMETTO BAY, Fla. (WSVN) – A Doral police officer shot during an armed robbery in Palmetto Bay continues to recover in the hospital as his fellow officers show their support.

According to Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, Doral Police Lt. Gary King was followed to his Palmetto Bay home along the 8000 block of Southwest 139th Terrace where he was robbed by two men and then shot in the arm, around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

7News cameras captured a heavy police presence at the scene, shortly after officers set up a perimeter in the neighborhood.

Police said the officer was returning home from running errands when he was confronted by the armed robbers.

The men got away with King’s wallet, watch and weapon.

Doral Police Lt. Gary King (Photo Courtesy Doral Police Department)

King is a law enforcement veteran who has served more than 40 years. “He’s a veteran, an officer, he’s been involved in law enforcement for many years,” said Miami-Dade Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. “He was apparently returning to his home and based on the preliminary investigation, it looks like he could’ve been followed.”

As police continue to search for the robbers, Wednesday, the Doral Police Department wanted the public to know more about King.

“Gary is like the voice of reason,” said Doral Police Chief Donald De Lucca. “He truly cares. He’s compassionate. He loves the profession, and he’s like an older brother to so many of us. His words of wisdom are always there for us when we need them. He is what policing needs, and I know if Gary was here now, he would say, ‘Hey, it’s better that it happens to me than somebody else in our community.'”

7News cameras captured Doral Police and Miami-Dade Police cruisers pulling up near the entrance to the emergency room. Officer after officer walked into the hospital, hoping to give their well-wishes to their brother in blue.

Inside the E.R., Perez and De Lucca helped comfort officers as they waited for word on King’s condition.

Police are looking for a red, four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, with two male subjects inside.

“We take this very serious because now we have individuals that were brazen enough to commit this robbery,” said Zabaleta, “and on top of that, now we know for a fact that they’re armed with the officer’s gun.”

King has since had surgery and is expected to be OK.

If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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