MIAMI - The Miami-Dade police officer who was stabbed Tuesday night is recovering well after surgery, said Dr. Tanya Zakrison, a trauma surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Officer Mario Gutierrez underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition Wednesday.
"We expect a full recovery shortly," said Zakrison.
The incident happened at the Shell gas station at 2501 NW 42nd Avenue about 7:19 p.m. Gutierrez, 54, was patrolling near Miami International Airport, police say, when he approached a suspicious man, who was identified as 51-year-old Dominique Jean.
Jean lifted a cap off an underground gas tank and tried setting it ablaze, police say. When Gutierrez stopped him, Jean stabbed him several times with a screwdriver.
"He sees an individual who's trying to blow up the gas station," said John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association. "He immediately goes into action -- he had no other choice. He didn't have the luxury of waiting for backup."
Gutierrez tried tasering Jean but his Taser malfunctioned. He then shot and killed Jean.
"You don't have time to think. You have to depend on your training and your instincts for survival," said Rivera.
Rivera said Gutierrez tried radioing for help four times, but his radio didn't work properly. He suffered wounds to his arm, leg, back, and chest, and Jean also tried biting off his thumb, police say.
Coworkers quickly rushed Gutierrez to the hospital. He said, "I'm a survivor," following surgery, according to family members.
"This is an example of how officers go out every day and serve this community and truly put their lives on the line and how things can change in an instant," said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.
Gutierrez has worked for the department for about 21 years and is assigned to the Motors Unit at the Airport District.
Jean was arrested last December on aggravated assault charges, which were later dropped.