MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade Library System is recognizing the MDPD Officer and library security guard who responded to the May 3rd shooting at the main branch.
Cell phone video shows people running as shots are fired, and later, the suspected shooter on the floor, shot by Officer Saul Rodriguez after getting the call from security guard Juanita Knighton.
“She advised of something happening and then shortly thereafter, the noise, gunfire…I just walked toward it and reacted,” said Rodriguez.
Wednesday, silence was once again shattered at the main branch, but this time by applause as the library honored Rodriguez and Knighton.
“She stayed calm, she controlled the security desk, assisted the police officers, helped our staff and patrons, and helped secure the scene,” said library director Ray Baker.
Knighton has worked at the library for 29 years. She recognized suspected shooter Roderick Veazey as a long-time library patron.
Rodriguez, a 17-year police veteran, was working an off-duty shift. He says he simply followed his training, and doesn’t want to be called a hero.
“We just celebrated memorial day,” Rodriguez said. “I think of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I consider those true heroes. We’re just doing our job.”
Knighton says the same. Despite experiencing a first on the job, she says she’s not surprised by the shooting.
“It’s part of life, bottom line,” she said. “You can get killed walking across the street, so it doesn’t make a difference. You just gotta do what you gotta do.”
Knighton hopes to retire sometime soon.