NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Officer Lino Diaz is being called a hero after coming under fire during a dangerous operation Friday morning.READ MORE: Broward School Board Backtracks On Mask Mandate Decision, Will Meet Aug. 10 To Discuss
“He took two bullets today for the people and city of North Miami Beach,” said North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo.
The 47-year-old, highly decorated officer was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital after NMB Police say he was shot in the left leg and left arm.
“The leg wound is slightly above the knee and seems mostly flesh related. We’re concerned with his arm because it’s going to require some surgery,” said Major Kathy Katerman with the North Miami Beach Police Department.
Diaz’s sister and father rushed to Miami from Central Florida.
“He has always wanted to be a police officer,” said his sister Suhaill Diaz. “He has always been a warrior, a fighter, and we are lucky to have him with us.”
“I am very proud of my son,” said Diaz’s father Faustino Diaz.READ MORE: Shortage Of Nurses Cited As 'Huge Challenge' During Gov. Ron DeSantis' COVID Roundtable With Hospital CEOs
Law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions and city officials also rushed to the trauma center to support Diaz and pray for his recovery.
“I’ve given him a hug and kiss. I told him that we are behind him 100 percent. He’s one of our heroes, one of our best,” said North Miami Beach City Manager Ana Garcia.
The mayor said Diaz is alert and spoke with his family before going into to surgery.
“He was shot twice but he’s going to make it,” said Mayor Vallejo.
Officer Diaz has been an officer for 20 years and has served the NMB Police Department for 17 years. He has been awarded officer of the month four times and is part of the departments honor guard.
The chief said Diaz’s experience likely saved his life.
“He’s in very good spirits. If it weren’t for his training, his protective equipment that he’s issued and his warrior mindset we’d be having a much different press conference right now,” said Chief Scott Dennis.
City officials are asking the community to come together to pray for Officer Diaz and his family.MORE NEWS: 'Above Average' Hurricane Season Still Forecast In NOAA Update
“NMB is together during this difficult time,” said Garcia. “We will continue to be together throughout Lino Diaz’s recovery.”