MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Authorities have identified the officer who stepped in to help a woman being stabbed by a man prompting him to fire his gun, according to police.
Fraternal Order of Police identified Rafael Horta as the cop involved in the deadly officer-involved shooting in Miami Lakes. The shooting is now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Miami Police say Horta was off-duty when he was forced to fire while trying to stop the stabbing of 27-year-old Yurien Rodriguez-Perez.
A day later, the woman’s sister, Yudmila Rodriguez, met Horta. During a press conference Monday evening, the sister thanked the officer for his involvement. She said her sister owes her life to the quick response of the officer.
“She’s still shaking. She’s nervous and she doesn’t want to talk to anyone right now,” said Rodriguez.
Officer Horta also had a few words.
“While I can’t speak about yesterday’s incident, I’d like to say I’m thankful to be a City of Miami Police officer and serving my community. I pray that Ms. Rodriguez heals from her injuries and I’d like to thank the city for their outpouring of support,” said Horta.
Officer Horta, who was off-duty but in uniform at the time, was headed home when he got a call about a woman screaming in an area near to him early Sunday morning.
The officer headed to the area – Northwest 64th Avenue and 159th Street – near to Miami Lakes Middle School. That’s where investigators said the cop tried to help during the altercation but was forced to fire, police say.
FOP has identified the man shot and killed as Relvis Rodriguez.
Crews airlifted Rodriguez-Perez to Jackson Memorial Hospital. She’s now out of the hospital and recovering from her injuries.
“He did everything possible to save this woman. He was at the right place at the right time,” said Miami Fraternal Order of Police President Javier Ortiz. “There was nothing else he could have done to prevent a heinous crime.”
The president of the police union says the officer has been with the department less than a year.
Officer Horta has been assigned to ‘desk duty’ pending the investigation.