An off-duty Florida police officer was shot multiple times, but was able to fire back and kill a suspected shoplifter in the parking lot of a Walmart on Wednesday.
The police officer, who was working an off-duty job at the Miami store, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and wastaken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
TV reports showed a body covered in a yellow plastic sheet between two cars in the parking lot. The officer was shown walking with assistance into the emergency room of the hospital.
“Our officer is going to be OK. Right now, he’s in good spirits despite being shot multiple times,” Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said. “God was with him today. I can’t emphasize that enough.”
Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera told NBC that the officer “actually saved his life and the lives of other people.”
“This is just another example of how dangerous being a police officer these days are,” he said.
The scene at the Walmart in Miami on Wednesday.
The officer was working an off-duty detail in uniform to provide security when he confronted the shoplifting suspect.
The store and parking lot were crowded with holiday shoppers, but no one else was injured. The identity of the suspect and any details about the alleged theft were not immediately released.
The officer is married and has two children. He is a seven-year veteran of the force. Miami-Dade officers frequently work off-duty security details to make extra money during the holidays.
“He was just trying to do his job,” Perez said. “The dangers are always out there.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the case, as it does for all shootings involving Miami-Dade police.
With News Wire Services