MIAMI (CBSMIAMI) — A terrifying Wednesday night at the Presidente Supermarket in Little Havana when, police say, Hector Hechavarria charged into the store, with a sword in hand.
“He must be crazy or drunk or something,” said long time customer Mercedes Lopez.
Investigators said he began ranting and yelling threats the second he stepped in the front door.
“This man just walked in with a sword in hand and he said he was going to kill everyone,” said Officer Kenia Reyes with the Miami Police Department.
Police are calling the store security guard, Jose Antonio Mendoza, 47, a hero because he sprang into action quickly.
“He managed to walk inside the Presidente Supermarket and start waving this sword,” said Reyes, “so when he started waving the sword at them, the security guard (Mendoza) had no other choice then to protect everyone’s life inside that supermarket.”
In a matter of seconds detectives say Hechavarria nipped 32-year old Ninoska Aranglubel’s elbow with the blade, then turned his sights on Mendoza who fired several rounds after warning him to drop the weapon.
Even after he was shot, the suspect managed to run outside, where police say he continued to attack the guard. “He put his life in danger,” said Officer Reyes. “As a matter of fact, he got struck over the head by this armed man and still he managed to grab his gun, ask him to drop the weapon but he refused and he was forced to fire.”
Despite a head injury — Mendoza, along with another man, were able to hang on to him until police arrived.
Hechavarria is in serious condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital with several gunshot wounds. Mendoza was treated as well for a head wound.