MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association had strong words on Tuesday following the shooting of two officers the night before.
“I am going to tell you that these guys are really brave individuals. They go after the worst of the worst. They do this to keep the worst of the worst away from the best of the best,” said PBA President John Rivera.
Rivera says the two Miami-Dade Police Department detectives could have been killed.
A law enforcement source says more than 20 rounds were fired at their vehicle.
“Our guys last night were outnumbered and outgunned, as officers are each and every day,” Rivera said.
Eleven-year veteran Charles Woods, 37, and 26-year veteran Terence White, 47, were ambushed.
Woods was shot in the arm, while White was hit in the foot.
One of them was able to return fire.
“These guys were alive because of two things. God was by their side and their training and instincts kicked in last night,” Rivera said. “These guys did not even have the chance to get out of the vehicle. They had to defend themselves from inside the vehicle.”
The undercover detectives were transported to the Ryder Trauma Center in an unmarked black police pickup truck.
“This was a dire situation. These officers did everything they could to save them and extract them and get them to safety,” said Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez.
Dozens of officers from Miami-Dade and Florida Highway Patrol showed up at the hospital, expressing their support.
“Last night’s incident where we had two officers being shot makes us realize we have to look after our own,” said FHP Trooper Joe Sanchez.
It’s not known why this vehicle was sprayed with bullets.
“Bad guys are bad guys are bad guys. They don’t care about human life. They don’t care for anything but having a career in criminal behavior. Our streets are meaner than ever before and violence is paramount. On the streets these days, buying a gun is easier than buying a pack of cigarettes,” Rivera said.
And the police union president has a message for the criminals.
“You’re never going to win. We are going to come after you harder than ever before. You are never going to win,” he said.
Rivera hopes the community will help out with tips about the shooter.
It’s not known if Miami-Dade police will be releasing surveillance tape.
Rivera said there has been a sharp increase nationwide over the past few years in police ambushes.