MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A gunman was taken into custody on a stretcher following a shooting at the Miami-Dade Public Main Library.
With about 40 witnesses inside the library, Miami-Dade Police said an officer had no choice but to shoot the armed suspect who had already fired his weapon at another man.
“It happened very fast,” said Hilario Pedragal. “I was on the 2nd floor and I heard two shots.”
Pedragal’s iPhone captured the moments just after the shooting, showing the suspect on the ground in handcuffs. Not far from him, a gun on the floor.
Dozens of first responders rushed to the scene Wednesday afternoon as initial reports indicated several people were shot inside the downtown Miami-Dade Main Library at 101 W. Flagler Street. Not long after, authorities realized no one was hurt, other than the alleged gunman.
“I think it is very unnerving. I work downtown and I walk the streets and take the train. It is very scary to know that this happened at 10:30 in the morning,” said Damary Figueroa.
Witnesses saw the gunman walk into the library and confront another man.
“A gentleman in a white, plaid short and someone shot at him. It was like he came there to meet him,” said Kevin. “The first time I heard it, it sounded like a milk carton and then I hear what was pop-pop-pop.”
The shooting was not a random act, according to police.
“This was more of an isolated incident, more of a targeted person,” said Miami-Dade Police Det. Alvaro Zabaleta. “We’re learning more now that this was an altercation that began several days back amongst two individuals and everything culminated here inside the library.”
That’s when a Miami-Dade Police officer, working an off-duty detail at the library, engaged the gunman and shot him in the upper body.
“The officer, a 17-year veteran acted calmly and acted in a way that no one else was injured,” Det. Zabalaeta said.
While no one else got hurt, including the gunman’s intended target, those who work in the area were shaken.
“It’s very scary to know that this shooting happened across from your work and, you know, children go to the library,” said Francesca Bascha.
Police have not identified the two men. The suspect shot by police is in his 50’s. His condition is unknown. Police said the officer has the option of taking three days off as FDLE investigates.
The library was closed for the day and will be reopened Friday, May 5th.