DORAL, Fla. – Two Doral officers were injured in a shooting Friday morning on a busy road near Miami-Dade police headquarters. The man who opened fire on them was shot dead by police, authorities say.
One of the officers was hit in the chest, leg and arm but was wearing a bulletproof vest, police say. That officer is in serious but stable condition after being rushed to Jackson West Medical Center and then transported to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The other officer was grazed in the cheek by glass or shrapnel and was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center, police say.
“It’s a stark reminder of the danger our officers face every day,” said Rey Valdes, public information officer for Doral police.
A man driving a box truck also got caught in the crossfire and suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being hit by a projectile in the leg, Valdes said.
Watch a replay of the police news conference:
Valdes said there was an argument shortly after 11 a.m. between two men that resulted in one man chasing the other in his BMW. Officers then saw the BMW spin out on Northwest 25th Street near 92nd Avenue before slamming into a tree.
As officers arrived, the suspect jumped out of his car and started shooting at police, who returned fire, Valdes said.
Why it escalated so quickly is still under investigation.
Bystanders heard the shots and ducked behind cars to protect themselves.
That scene was across the street from the Miami-Dade Police Department’s main headquarters. A heavy police presence converged in the area, blocking traffic.
“This is the biggest artery in the city, one of the biggest,” Valdes said. “And, as you can imagine, there were hundreds of vehicles that were traveling.”
Bullet holes could be seen in the windshield of a Doral police cruiser left at the scene.
Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez said the officer who was taken to Ryder Trauma Center is in his 20s. While he wouldn’t release the officer’s name, Bermudez said the officer was in good spirits but heavily medicated.
“He did lose some blood,” Bermudez said. “He’s resting, the family is there, and thank God, we think that he is going to be OK.
“I told him, listen, we are with you. The whole city is behind you,” Bermudez added.
The incident comes just days after a Hollywood police officer was shot dead by a suspect in the line of duty.
“It’s alarming,” Valdes said. “Any time that you hear an officer has been shot, you have that moment of trepidation until you get all the facts. ... It was touch and go for me personally in light of what happened earlier this week with another agency in South Florida.”