FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – An off-duty Fort Lauderdale Homicide detective is recovering after being shot Thursday in the parking lot of Maguire Hill 16 Pub and Restaurant.
Broward prosecutor Brian Cavanagh, a friend of the officer, said that Officer Mark Shotwell’s first words after surgery were, “was anybody else hurt?”
Cavanagh was with the detective moments before the shooting.
He said Shotwell was on his way home after eating dinner when he ran into restaurant server Christine Menatti in the parking lot. Investigators say she was trying to get away from abusive boyfriend Richard Arruda.
“The guy says to Mark, ‘You looking for trouble?’” Cavanagh said. “Mark says, ‘Not really, are you looking for trouble?’ and the guy, perpetrator, comes up firing.”
Shotwell was hit, about an inch from his heart, according to Cavanagh, but managed to squeeze off a shot, which killed Arruda.
Cavanagh said that action may have saved countless lives.
“She was trying to make it into the restaurant,” pointed out Cavanagh. “If she had gotten in there, and her armed boyfriend had pursued her in there, God knows who else could have been shot or killed.”
Menatti is stunned, but very grateful that she’s safe and Shotwell survived.
“My condolences go to Mark,” she told CBS4 News. “I thank him for what he did.”
Olive Joshua, a retired paramedic, may be the reason Shotwell made it. She raced to help him seconds after the gunfire ended.
“We applied pressure to where the area was,” she said, pointing to her chest. “By the time we were able to roll him over to get him in the back rescue was there and he was quickly gone.”
“We need to keep praying!” said Cavanagh. “We need this man, to serve and protect. He embodies that principal in every sense of the word. “
The investigation has been turned over to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Watch Ted Scouten’s report, click here.