MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade police detective shot three times in the line of duty is traveling to Washington  D.C. Friday to receive a special award as a result of the shooting.

Det. John Saavedra’s trip comes as a bond hearing for Luis Estevanell, the man accused of helping to run the Miami grow house where the shooting took place, continues in a Miami-Dade courtroom.

In court the officers said they felt their lives were in danger when the home owner, Gerard Delgado, pulled a gun on them. An undercover Miami-Dade officer testified about the fatal shot he fired at Delgado’s head.

“I fired one shot from behind my vehicle,” he said. “When I fired the weapon he went down, I didn’t know if I had killed him or not.”


Before going down, Delgado shot Miami-Dade police Officer John Saavedra three times below his bullet-proof vest.

Estevanell survived the intense close-range shootout with police, his 911 call during the incident was heard for the first time in court on Friday.

“There’s been a shooting, there’s been a shooting,” said Estevanell to a Miami-dade dispatcher. “They say they’re the police and they’re not the police. They just shot my friend.”

The gun fight from July 2012 was caught on video and shows Estevanell talking to police who didn’t realize that the homeowner Gerard Delgado was sitting in a BMW with dark-tinted windows in the driveway of the home near Coral Way and SW 60th Court.

Suddenly, Delgado jumps out of the car with a gun drawn and fires at the officers.

Det. Saavedra was shot three times under his bullet-proof vest.

Delgado was also shot and killed while trying to hide behind a tree in the middle of the driveway.

Police later found 80 pounds of marijuana worth $90,000 inside the home.

Estevanell, who did not fire any shots, is charged with possession of cocaine, trafficking in marijuana and second-degree felony murder. In Florida, anyone who commits a felony in which a death occurs can be held responsible for murder.

Saavedra, a former Miami-Dade PBA Officer of the Year, told CBS4’s that it shows how dangerous the job can be. He said he has a bullet inside him that may be with him for the rest of his life.

“I’m doing better,” he said. “But I am still in pain.”

Saavedra said two bullets entered his stomach and another struck him in his left leg.

On Friday Saavedra was in Washington, D.C. to receive an award from the National Association of Police Organizations as a result of this incident.


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