Former deputy shoots homeless man

Shooting victim listed in stable condition

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. - A former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy, who survived after he was shot in the head while he was on duty, shot a homeless man who was harassing him and his family on Saturday, said police.

Miami-Dade police said the incident happened outside the Haagen-Dazs store in the Windmill Gates Shopping Center on Northwest 67th Avenue about 1:30 p.m.

Maury Hernandez was with his fiancé, their infant child and two children from his fiancé's previous marriage when a homeless man, Alain Romero, 33, approached them and was acting violent, said police.

Police said it began as an argument before Romero swung at Hernandez.

"He then turned his aggression toward the children, the small children that were there with the victim and when the victim saw that he was being aggressive toward his kids, when it became a physical confrontation, shots were fired," said Miami-Dade Det. Alvaro Zabaleta.

Romero was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital by air rescue. He was listed in stable condition.

Miami-Dade police are investigating.

Miami-Dade police said it does not appear Romero was armed but they said it does appear the shooting was justified. Police said Romero is a "known vagrant in the area."

Romero had been arrested at least six times and is an aggressive person, according to his former roommate, Steven Merry.

"He's dangerous. He really is," Merry said. "He doesn't need to be walking the street. He needs to be put somewhere under observation."

Merry said Romero was kicked out of the North Miami Beach home they lived in together for being an "unruly tenant." He said he was not surprised at all by Romero's latest incident and said he is known to act violent when he doesn't take his medication.

"If you do carry a firearm and you are permitted to, you are allowed to use it if you feel your life is in danger or the life of somebody else," said Zabaleta.

Hernandez was shot in the back of the head in August of 2007 by a suspect he confronted for speeding on Pembroke Road in Hollywood. The suspect, David Maldonado, was sentenced in October of 2008.

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