Homeowner exchanges gunfire with suspected thieves

Gaddy Rawls in stable condition after being shot in shoulder

Author: Todd Tongen, Reporter, Anchor, ttongen@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 04 2012 09:00:22 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 05 2012 02:18:58 AM EDT
Miami Gardens shooting
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -

A homeowner was hospitalized after exchanging gunfire with two men suspected of breaking into cars in a Miami Gardens neighborhood.

Miami Gardens police responded to a call of two men breaking into vehicles near 20307 NW 33rd Ave. about 1:00 a.m. Thursday.

When officers arrived, they found the homeowner, Gaddy Rawls, with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. His car was also riddled with bullet holes.

Miami Gardens shooting location

According to police, Rawls, who was armed at the time of the incident, confronted the suspected thieves and shots were exchanged.

"It woke me up because I did hear the shots. I just laid in the bed for a few minutes and then I heard people and it sounded like panic," said a woman who has lived in the neighborhood for six years. "I usually turn in early, have my alarm on and I usually don't go out after dark but, you know, I will be aware and look out for the neighbors, you know."

There are surveillance cameras outside of Rawls' home. It's unclear if they recorded video of the shootout.

The woman who lives next door to Rawls said a bullet whizzed over her head while she slept in the bedroom and lodged itself in the wall. She said she crawled on the floor after the bullet went through her window. She has lived in the neighborhood for 19 years.

Another neighbor said her car was broken into last week. Miami Gardens police helped a man and his wife start a neighborhood watch because break-ins have been a problem.

"A month and a half ago was our break-in and I think they said they had six that day that we had ours. All in one day," said the man who started the neighborhood watch.

The suspects fled in a 4-door, beige Nissan with dark tinted windows.

Rawls was taken to Ryder Trauma Center. His fiancée, who says she was awakened by the sound of gunfire, told Local 10's Terrell Forney that Rawls is in stable condition.

Police continue to search for the vehicle and the suspects.