MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For the fifth time in recent months, Miami-Dade Police say some of their officers have been shot at while on duty. While they were not wounded, they say the latest incident could have been deadly.
To demonstrate that, police displayed the 2005, red Chevrolet Impala that the undercover officers had used in Thursday’s incident and how it had a bullet hole in the passenger side after a suspect opened fire. Two undercover officers were in that vehicle at the time.
Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “They could have easily been struck in the lower extremities perhaps hitting a femoral artery and as you know, people can very easily bleed out and we could have been at another officer’s funeral.”
“It only goes to show the dangers of undercover work,” said Zabaleta. “A lot of people think it is fun and exciting but undercover work can be dangerous and it can be deadly.”
Zabaleta said the latest incident happened at 11:35 p.m. on Wednesday when undercover officers were conducting surveillance on 29-year-old Edward Greggs at what was believed to be one of his residences. Zabaleta said Greggs was wanted for an attempted murder on Monday.
Records also revealed that Greggs had been arrested before, for resisting arrest in 2006 and for battery last year. Zabaleta said after Greggs took off in his vehicle, the detectives followed him and he ambushed them at N.W. 2nd Ave. and 119th St.
“Once the vehicle got around the corner, he was waiting for the vehicle and opened fire and one bullet struck the passenger door,” said Zabaleta. “Luckily one of the bullets struck the cross bar frame and the bullet did not go all of the way through.”
“These are individuals who will take any means to get away if it means taking an officer’s life,” said Zabaleta. “This worries officers and we caution them to remain vigilant and wear vests. We also need help from the community to be our eyes and ears.”
Police said they located Greggs’ vehicle at his Miami Gardens apartment complex and when they located Greggs’s apartment, they said he surrendered.
Zabaleta said the firearm that was used had also been located. And late Thursday afternoon, CBS4 was at Greggs’s apartment where police hoped to serve a search warrant. Police said no one was inside the apartment and they said Greggs lived there with at least one family member including his sister.
It’s expected that Greggs will be charged with the attempted murder of two law enforcement officers.
There have been similar incidents.
Just two weeks ago, police said 19-year-old Jonathan Gilbert, who was known on the street as “J Roc,” shot at two undercover officers who were involved with a Robbery Intervention Detail in an area known for drug trafficking at N.W. 71st St. and N.W. 14th Place. Gilbert was later arrested. Authorities were particularly alarmed that this happened in a residential neighborhood.
In late May, detectives say 30-year-old, career criminal Matthew Pryor fired at Miami-Dade officers and carjacked a vehicle to avoid being taken into custody. He was captured in Knoxville, Tennessee.