MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade officer is in serious condition after being stabbed in a confrontation with a subject in Northwest Miami-Dade, according to police.

Members of the Police Department gathered outside Jackson Memorial Hospital, united in their prayer and support for this 54-year-old officer and  22-year veteran of the force.

The officer went into surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital Tuesday night for multiple wounds that he suffered at the hands of an armed man who attacked him, according to police.

Miami Dade Police said they expect the officer to pull through.

The officer is assigned to the motorcycle unit at Miami International Airport.  Police Major Hector Llevat said the veteran officer was on routine patrol Tuesday night when he had a confrontation with a man at a Shell gas station at  25th Street  and  N.W. 42 Avenue.

According to police, the officer approached a suspicious subject, The officer “made contact with a man at the shell gas station.  That contact led to a struggle where upon our officer was seriously injured.  During that struggle our officer was forced to discharge his firearm,” said Major Llevat.

The officer called for help on his radio.  Police units quickly arrived and didn’t even wait for rescue crews to arrive.  They loaded the injured officer into a patrol car and rushed him to the hospital.  “That is obviously the worst scenario you wanna hear, that an officer is in danger. That an officer is down,” said Llevat.  “Our officers receive a lot of training for these types of incidents and obviously they were able to react and able to get the officer to help as soon as possible.”

With officers at the hospital to support their injured brother, detectives and crime scene investigators remained at the gas station well into the night processing the scene.  “We’ll stay here as long as it takes,” said Llevat.
The police union president said the officer suffered multiple stab wounds on his arms, hands, and back describing them as defensive wounds.The union president also said the subject even tried to bite the officers thumb off.

One of the responding officers saw the injured officer and thought his life was in danger so he rushed him to the hospital in a marked police car.

“Just doing his job and happened to witness something which made him fulfill his duties to this community and take action and almost cost him his life,” said John Rivera of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association.

The police union is asking for the community’s prayers and best wishes for the injured officer.The union said this incident once again highlights the dangers of police work in South Florida.