MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – A New York City police detective remains hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Ryder Trauma Center after he was shot on South Beach early Saturday morning.
The shooting occurred at approximately 7 a.m. at 1288 and Collins Avenue, according to Miami Beach Police Detective Vivian Hernandez.READ MORE: Mother Named Person Of Interest After Police ID Bodies Of Two Girls Found In Lauderhill Canal
“We do know that there were shots fired,” Hernandez said. “The detective was injured. He was in surgery, but at this point we don’t have any further information.”
Police say Det. Harold Thomas was vacationing in South Beach when he found himself in the middle of an altercation in the courtyard of the hotel that he was staying at on Collins Avenue. As the argument grew more heated, bullets started to fly.
“It was a nonstop situation,” said a man staying at the same hotel who didn’t want to be identified.
He said he heard 10 to 15 shots and believed the officer fired some of those shots. Looking out of his hotel room, the man said he saw a gun on the ground next to the officer.
“I thought he was dead actually cause he actually stopped breathing for a minute cause his eyes was gone,” he said. “Then we looked at him for maybe 15, 20 minutes and then his eyes came back.”
Medics rushed Thomas to the Ryder Trauma Center. Police closed off Collins Ave. from 12th to 13th Street and traffic was being diverted through adjacent streets.
“The crime scene was minimized due to the fact that when the incident occurred we had multiple units respond to the area for the purpose of the safety of our citizens. We want to make sure that everybody is safe,” said Hernandez.READ MORE: 77-Year-Old Rafael Diaz Found Safe
Residents and visitors were stunned by the commotion.
“No, I wouldn’t expect this at all on Miami Beach,” said tourist Carlline Johnson.
Johnson said the incident makes her nervous.
“It really does,” she said. “We’re visiting, obviously, so we don’t want to get involved with this.”
Some are concerned about the security measures at the beach.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” one woman said. “We should be able to be more secure at the beach so I think we should have heightened security at the beach because people will feel safe when they come from out of town.”
An undetermined number of suspects are at large, according to Hernandez.MORE NEWS: Pembroke Pines Teen Sanura Domond Found Safe
No one else was injured.