MIAMI (CBS4) – The gunfire that robbed Miami-Dade Police of two lives reminds many of another tragedy from Sept. 13th, 2007 and another savage attack from April, 2010 that one officer survived.
Thirty-seven-year-old Jose Somohano, a married father of two children, lost his life when a fleeing gunman with a high-powered assault rifle fired shots through the window of South Miami-Dade home in September, 2007.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said at the time, “He is an American hero because he laid down his life for what he believed in.”
That shooting deeply troubled many people and prompted renewed calls for a ban on assault rifles. Three other officers were wounded including Jody Wright, who has since returned to duty. In a dramatic interview from her hospital bed that was shown on a large screen at a public ceremony, Wright proclaimed, “I appreciate all the warm wishes you have sent me and I’ll be back on the road soon.”
Miami-Dade Officer Carlos Castillo survived another traumatic incident on April 23rd, 2010.
“I am thankful to be alive,” he told CBS4’s Jorge Estevez on Nov. 25th, 2010. “This year it is a wakeup call that life is very fragile and it can end at any time.”
Castillo was viciously attacked while working undercover in Liberty City on a robbery intervention detail.
Police say suspect Michael Robertson dropped a 30-pound cinderblock on his head, took his car and twice ran him over, causing 10 broken ribs among other injuries.
“This is ahh, both bones, two bones that broke here if it allows you to move your hand up or down,” Castillo said, showing us his injuries. “I feel better. There is a constant reminder that I got injured when I go to move a certain way. I do feel a little pain but it is much better.”
Despite the attack that nearly took his life, Castillo told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench on June 18th, 2010 that he was proud to be a police officer.
“I became a police officer many years ago because it is not only a great job, but also I can put people away who do wrong. It makes me feel good that we can restore order when there is no order.”
The events of this day make Castillo keenly aware of how precious life can be.
Castillo is working again at Miami-Dade Police. And that is where there is a tremendous sense of sadness. Miami-Dade Police spokesman Robert Williams told D’Oench that the flags there will fly at half staff through the burial of the two officers, just as they did for Jose Somohano.\
Click on the video below for CBS4’s Shannon Hori’s interview with Jose Somohano’s widow Elizabeth as she reacts to today’s deadly shooting