MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police detective Confesor Gonzalez has confronted criminals on the streets of Miami for decades. But he says what happened inside his gated community in Pembroke Pines early Wednesday morning was a scary and truly sobering experience.
“I can say I was in fear of being killed,” said the 54-year-old Gonzalez in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “Absolutely, the answer is yes.”
“I will tell you this. I was born again Wednesday about 4 o’clock in the morning. I feel by the grace of God my family is not planning a funeral today.”
Gonzalez has been with the Miami Police for 30 years. He has been a detective for 25 years. The well-known detective has been very active in his appeals for the community’s help in solving some of the city’s most disturbing homicides. He’s been featured several times in the homicide detective show, “The First 48.”
On Wednesday, he became a crime victim. A neighbor alerted Gonzalez that someone had broken into his car and was breaking into other cars in his Lakeside Key Community in the 1200 block of Southwest 97th Avenue.
“When you’re sleeping, you’re sort of in a green light mode” said Gonzalez. “You’re sort of relaxed and to go from 0 to 60, like this (snapping his fingers), it’s a different monster.”
Gonzalez said he could not discuss details in this case, but he told police that he was forced to shoot at 18-year-old suspect Delon Sinclair of Miami Gardens after Sinclair fired first.
Sinclair was shot in the buttocks and was captured after hiding behind a house in that community. A police source said a bullet grazed one of Gonzalez’s feet.
“A police officer does not have the opportunity to retreat,” said Gonzalez. “You have to stand your ground. You’re not just protecting yourself. You are protecting the community.”
Gonzalez has been shot at twice before while on duty in 1995 and 1998. “I’ve also been a crime victim before. I have been assaulted and attack. But as a trained police officer, you are ready to react.”
“It’s a dangerous job, the police work is,” said Gonzalez. “And we do this knowingly but any officer who truly believes in what he or she does understands the dangers.”
It’s a job that Gonzalez’s son, 32-year-old Gonzalez, has also chosen. He has been with the Miami Police Department for 10 years and is now a Sergeant in the police tactical unit and is a member of the SWAT team as well.
Like his father, he has been shot at as well by criminals.
“The only thing going through your mind is that you react with your training experience and you do what you have to do,” said Eric Gonzalez.
He says he grew up admiring his father’s work.
“It’s reassuring that as a child your father is out there and he’s doing what he has to do,” said Eric Gonzalez.
Confessor Gonzalez said after the shooting, he called 911 and then he called his son.
“As soon as I saw my dad, it was one of the most comforting things you can get,” said Eric Gonzalez. “I would never have any doubt that my father would act in a way he needed to in order to resolve a situation. It’s not something he liked to do but this ended in a decent conclusion.”
Confesor Gonzalez said he discourages civilians from doing what he did.
“I appreciate all the support I have received from people in this case,” he told D’Oench, “but I encourage people to always call the police and wait for the police to arrive.”
Gonzalez said he’ll continue to stay alert and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“I have to retire by the age of 59,” said Gonzalez. “But right now I am energetic. I like the community. I grew up in Miami and I want to help the community.”