SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A suspected shoplifter had to be taken to the hospital after, police said, an officer was forced to open fire at The Falls shopping center in Southwest Miami-Dade, marking the second time in a week shots were fired at a South Florida mall.
Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue personnel were called to the shopping center, at 8888 SW 136th St., in response to a shoplifting at around 8 p.m., Friday.
“According to investigators, our officers were called by Macy’s personnel in reference to a shoplifter,” said a Miami-Dade Police official.
According to police, responding officers identified the suspected shoplifter and chased the man outside of the Macy’s. When they were outside, police said the man pulled a weapon out of his belt, forcing the officer to fire, striking the man in the leg.
“They attempted to detain the individual, and that’s when he produced what appeared to be a firearm,” the official said.
Police later determined the weapon the man pulled was a knife that was in the shape of a gun. That weapon has been recovered.
“He was transported by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to Jackson South in critical, but stable condition,” the official said.
No officers were hurt during the shooting, police said.
Friday night’s shooting at The Falls is the second shooting at a South Florida mall in the past week.
Last Saturday, five people had to be taken to the hospital after shots were fired at Aventura Mall following an altercation between two groups of people.
Although several people were detained in connection to the Aventura Mall shooting, police have not said if they made an arrest in the case.
The shooting at The Falls is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The officer involved or the perpetrator have not been identified.
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