MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the investigation into the shooting death of Miami police veteran in his Pembroke Pines home entered its fourth day, a woman linked to the case said it was accident.
Police found the body of 53-year old Carl Patrick after they went to his home last Friday to check on him.
“He was always responsible, he showed up for work every day. He was out for a couple of days and we noticed he wasn’t showing up and that’s when the notifications were made and the discovery was made,” said Miami police Major Delrish Moss.
Toniko Thompson, a City of Miami Police public service aid, was the live-in girlfriend of Patrick, according to a news release from the Pembroke Pines Police Department. The Department said it was reaching out to Thompson and her attorney and wanted to speak with them.
Roderick Vereen, who represents Thompson, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench the shooting was unintended. He said during a struggle between the two, Patrick’s service weapon went off and it was Patrick who pulled the trigger.
“My client acted in self-defense,” Vereen told D’Oench. “At the end of the day she was defending herself. She did not pull the trigger on that firearm. He pulled the trigger himself. There was an altercation and the gun was pointed at my client.”
“There was a struggle and the gun went off in the struggle. He had his finger on the trigger. She did not,” said Vereen. He said Thompson would be cleared during the investigation.
Miami Police union President Sgt. Javier Ortiz said, “I knew Carl personally and I knew he was not going to pull his firearm on himself,” said Ortiz. “When it comes to the evidence, they are going to prove what she said was a bald faced lie. If she really feels this was self-defense, the police department is open 24 hours a day. She could come in anytime to explain her side of the story.
“She is refusing to speak with law enforcement,” said Ortiz. “I dispute what she is saying 100 per cent. Time will tell. I am sure that justice will be served.”
Vereen told CBS 4 News on Monday night that Thompson has not spoken with police and at this point, there are no plans for her to sit down with investigators.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said he believes they will one day know the truth.
“I have full confidence in the Pembroke Pines police department to come to a conclusion of the investigation and one way or the other to find all the results, all the details and move forward,” said Miami police Chief Manuel Orosa. “I know that we as a police family of Carl need some closure and so does his family.”
It appears Patrick was shot as he was preparing going to work, according to Javier Ortiz, president of the police union.
“Based on the information the Miami Fraternal Order of Police has obtained, Brother Carl Patrick was killed wearing his Miami Police uniform. His lunch box as well as his city laptop were inside his police car which is consistent with Brother Carl going to work in order to protect the community of the City of Miami,” Ortiz said in a statement issued Sunday.
Over the weekend, a new picture of Patrick was released a photo him in his honor guard uniform which was taken last week. As a member of the Miami Police Department’s Honor Guard, Patrick attended funerals and memorial services for his fellow offices. Patrick’s honor guard uniform was among the items removed from his patrol car by detectives on day three of the murder investigation.
On Monday, the honor guard took a moment to remember their fallen friend at a graduation ceremony for 25 new Miami police officers.
“It was tough today for all of us at the swearing in ceremony,” said Sgt. Thomas Visney. “We all thought about Carl, he would have been her today. I know he’s here in spirit.”
At the ceremony, the honor guard’s covered their badges with black ribbons in memory of Patrick.
“It’s been one of the hardest weekends in my police career,” said Visney. “Carl was the most humble, quiet, dedicated. But when it came time to work he was on point. He gave one percent to this department. He would back you up. He was a class act.”
Patrick spent 25 years in law enforcement.