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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami police officer was forced to fire after he was stabbed in the face at the Magic City Casino.

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Witnesses told CBS4 a man in the poker room was screaming and acting aggressively just before 1 a.m. when he was asked to leave by the staff.

“I do know there were about 43 witnesses in the poker room, it was full to capacity,” said Miami police Chief Rodolfo Llanes.

When the man refused, employees asked Officer Raul Perez to remove the man from the building.

“He refused to standstill, he completely disregarded the officer, was not paying attention and the more the officer tried the more aggressive he got with the officer,” said George Davila.

A scuffle ensued. At one point the man drew a knife and stabbed Perez multiple times including in the face. That’s when Perez pulled his gun and shot the man in self-defense.

“The officer was trying to get him to remain calm. He was fighting the officer, he was hitting the officer, they were on the floor, at that point things were not going well because he was being very aggressive with the officer,” said Davila. “Then I heard someone yell ‘knife’ and then a shot went off. Apparently the officer had no choice, he was bleeding on his face.”

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“It almost got his eye. All you could do is use deadly force,” said Javier Ortiz with the Fraternal Order of Police.

Both the officer and his attacker were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where the man was taken into surgery.

Perez was treated and released.

“The officer has been reassigned to administrative duties, he is recovering at home,” said Llanes.

The casino released a statement on the incident.

“This was a very isolated incident. The on-site presence and expertise of City of Miami Police Officers at the casino has allowed us to maintain an outstanding safety and security record. Magic City Casino is proud of their long standing relationship with the City of Miami Police Department and wishes Officer Perez a speedy recovery,” said Magic City’s Vice-President of Political Affairs, Izzy Havenick.

Ortiz commended Magic City Casino on how they handle the situation.

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“Magic City Casino has been extremely professional. They’ve got an excellent security team here. And they were extremely responsive when we had an incident here,” said Javier Ortiz with the Fraternal Order of Police.