MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection firearms instructor conducting a course was accidentally shot and killed at a west Miami-Dade gun range Wednesday morning, officials said.
Crews responded to the Trail Glades Range just before 10:30 a.m.
The county-owned range is located near the intersection of Southwest Eighth Street and Krome Avenue, immediately east of the Miccosukee Casino & Resort.
Sky 10 flew over the scene as the instructor was being loaded into an ambulance, ahead of being airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
The officer later died.
“A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer working at the weapons range was critically injured while on duty and pronounced deceased earlier today,” a CBP spokesperson told Local 10 News Wednesday afternoon.
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Local 10 News spoke to Dario Pederajo, who was at the range at the time of the shooting. He said it happened in the part of the range used by law enforcement officers.
Pederajo said he was shooting in another area of the range when police officers surrounded the range and ordered everyone to put their guns down.
“On the police range side it’s mainly Customs and Border (Protection), they come on Wednesday for practice,” Pederajo said. “Several police officers came running over to the civilian side of the range, where the main office is, and said someone had been shot, stop shooting.”
Sources tell Local 10 News the shooting happened during a “building search training.”
They say two instructors were doing a demonstration and one shot the other in the chest.
Local law enforcement officers and federal agents could be seen gathered at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center early Wednesday afternoon.
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Authorities have not yet released the instructor’s name nor given further details about how long he has worked for the agency, but asked that the community keep him and his family in their prayers.
“All I can say at this time is great officer, great family, and it’s a tragic loss,” one official from the CBP said.
Local 10 News has learned that the officer was assigned to the Miami International Airport, in addition to his role as an instructor at the range.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is handling the investigation into the shooting.
MDPD director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez offered condolences in a tweet late Wednesday afternoon.
“On behalf of the entire @MiamiDadePD, I offer my deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters at @CBP as they mourn the loss of their officer,” he said.