HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – Key Biscayne’s Police Chief said doctors are “cautiously optimistic” about the most seriously injured officer from the shooting Thursday night.
He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Officer Nelia Real had been with his department for 16 years and she felt compelled to help out during the incident.
Chief Charles Press is also calling a fellow officer who may have saved his officer “a hero.”
Officer Real was rushed to the hospital by a BSO deputy who made a split-second decision to rush her to the hospital because he worried about the delay in waiting for paramedics.
“She may owe that officer her life,” he said. “It was his quick actions knowing that traffic was going to be terrible and knowing that it could take a long time. It was something he felt that he had to do.”
Chief Press said he hoped to speak with the unidentified deputy and express his gratitude.
He also described a somber scene at Memorial Regional as an ambulance rushed a wounded officer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the emergency room.
More than a dozen officers and paramedics covered that ICE officer with a sheet as he was taken carefully into the emergency room.
“There are a lot of cops here, a lot of tears and a lot of prayers,” said Press.
Chief Press was brief by doctors about Real’s condition.
“We’re very fortunate with her wounds. It appears that the wounds have missed all of the vital organs,” he said. “She will be kept sedated for several days until doctors can see the extent of her wounds from the gunshot to the neck and her facial area.”
“She is completely sedated. Her vital signs are good and doctors are cautiously optimistic,” he added.
“I have been through this before and it looks like in this case there is going to be a happy ending,” said Chief Press.
But the scene at the hospital was a reminder one again of just how dangerous an officer’s job can be.
“She was actually out of her jurisdiction. She thought she saw some traffic. She was just trying to do her job. So anytime an officer is out there in the car, wearing a uniform, they’re a target. We pray it doesn’t happen. But it can happen anywhere at any time,” said Press.
Chief Press said that Officer Real’s family members were with her inside the hospital.
A spokeswoman for Memorial Regional Hospital was not able provide any information about the other two injured officers, including the ICE officer who was wounded in the arm.