MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An off-duty Miami-Dade police officer was taken to Jackson South Medical Center after investigators say he was hit by a stray bullet at a family gathering.

“This could’ve been a humongous tragedy on a day that people are celebrating with their family and friends,” Miami-Dade Police Det. Argemis Colome said.

The 13-year vet was hurt along SW 122nd St. near 177th Ave. around 3 p.m. Saturday.

A police spokesperson said this is an area where there are several ranches and it’s a place where people may go out shooting. Now, investigators are looking for the person responsible.

“At the end of the day an accident is an accident. However, if the person does not come forth and the detectives are able to locate this individual, they could face criminal charges,” Colome said.

Police said the off-duty officer’s children were at the gathering along with other small kids. Fortunately, nobody else was hurt.

“This is a miracle. Very fortunate at the moment and we are very happy. The family is happy. The friends are happy. But this could’ve been a tragedy,” Colome said.

One man was heading to the gathering to pick-up equipment. He then waited outside the gate until officers were done with their investigation.

“I was driving in and they contacted me on the phone that I couldn’t pick up the equipment because somebody had been shot by a stray bullet,” said party vendor Eduardo Gil.

If nobody comes forward, police said it could take weeks for lab results to return and track down who’s responsible for hurting the off duty officer.

“He was here enjoying a normal afternoon with family and friends, like any of us would’ve been doing and has to be a victim of a stray bullet,” Colome said.

Investigators have not released the officer’s name, but they told CBS4 News he is stable and he’s in high spirits.

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