NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – A transit security guard who was pushed on to the tracks at the Golden Glades Tri-Rail station and shot says his military training may have saved his life.
“I spent 21 years with the U.S. Army in Europe, Panama and the middle east and something like this was nothing new,” said transit security guard James Errante in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
“So I went through the whole thing and this crisis and everything until help arrived,” said the 62-year-old Errante, who has three children and six grandchildren.
“I feel a lot better than I did yesterday,” he said. “I got out of the hospital this morning and I’m getting along and I’m doing ok. But I am in pain, a lot of pain. I was shot in the leg. This is the first time that I have been shot.”
“Every day you go to work and something like this can happen,” he said. “You do security for people and there are people with all types of natures. I was thinking about survival. I was thinking that I want to live.”
“I like doing this job and I know the risks that come with it,” he told D’Oench. “It’s just like being a police officer. What’s going to happen is going to happen. Those are the risks you take.”
“Everyone has called me from my church and everywhere and asked me how I am doing and if I am ok,” he said. “It’s like everything in life. You keep moving along with your life. You just can’t stop for obstructions. You keep on going.”
Errante’s wife Aura said “I am very grateful to God and it is a miracle that he is alive. I am very grateful to everyone and all people who risk their lives for the whole world.”
Miami-Dade Police say the incident happened at 5:08 p.m. at the Golden Glades Tri-Rail station at 16000 State Road 9 on Thursday.
Detectives say Errante and fellow transit security guard, 52-year-old Lester Anderson, removed 34-year-old John Miller of Homestead froma tri-rail train because he seemed suspicious.
Police say there was a confrontation on the platform.
They say during the altercation, Errante was disarmed and pushed on to the tracks and shot.
They say Anderson was forced to shoot Miller when he pointed a gun at him. Witnesses said Miller tried to board a bus for the Lauderhill Mall but the Broward Transit bus driver would not open the doors for him.
That bus driver, Kiesha Rule, said, “At first I didn’t know what to think. When he arrived at the bus, the suspect’s hands were bloody. That was scary.”
Rule, who’s been a transit bus driver for the past 12 years, said she was concerned about the safety of her 10 passengers.
“I knew something was wrong,” she said. “I didn’t know the circumstances. It just seemed wrong and I wanted to keep my passengers safe. That’s what was important to me. Keeping the passengers safe. At the end of the day I wanted to go home to my family.”
“You may have saved some lives?” asked D’Oench.
“I don’t know about saving lives,” she replied. “The police are the real heroes. That was it.”
Police arrested Miller and charged him with attempted murder.
Anderson was also treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital for his injuries and was released.
Errante said it would take about a week to heal from his leg wound. He hoped he would be able to return to work after that.
“That military training was important to me to get a job here as a transit officer, you have three years military training anyway,” said Errante.