MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The photos are jarring. A woman driving her car in Coral Springs last June came within inches of being struck in the head by a random bullet that police say was fired by a passing car behind her.
And despite the woman’s efforts to get police to investigate, Coral Springs Police admit it took more than 30 minutes for police to be dispatched to the incident.
CBS4 News obtained surveillance camera video recorded at a Mobil gas station on University Drive and Shadowood Road in Coral Springs back on June 9. Cameras recorded a red Volkswagen pull up to an exit and prepare to head north.
That’s when another car — a late model Mitsubishi Eclipse with its windows down passed behind the Volkswagen.
Police say at some point the person in the Mitsubishi shot at the Volkswagen.
The result is seen in photos provided to CBS4 News by Brian Pakett, the attorney for the victim, Guadalupe Herrera.
The photos show that a bullet smashed through the Volkswagen’s back windshield, traveled through the driver’s headrest, just inches from Herrera’s head before slamming into the steering wheel.
The bullet redirected into the front windshield and wound up in the driver’s lap. Amazingly, Herrera was not injured.
After the shooting, Herrera called 911 immediately.
“Something shot through and hit the back windshield and the front windshield. It almost hit my head,” Herrera told a 911 call taker.
She told the 911 call taker that she thought it might have been a bullet.
“Where did it land?” The 911 call taker asked.
“It landed on my lap,” Herrera said.
The 911 call taker promised to send an officer right away.
“We’ve got the officers already en route to you,” the 911 call-taker told her.
But officers did not come. Herrera said she was terrified to leave her car and she called 911 two more times requesting help before eventually driving herself and her damaged vehicle to the Coral Springs Police Department.
A Coral Springs Police Internal Affairs report on the case determined that “The time between when the first call came in to the time it was dispatched to officers is 34 minutes.”
The victim’s attorney, Pakett, is furious. He said he’s planning to file a civil lawsuit.
“She tried to call 911,” Pakett told CBS 4 News. “They didn’t respond. She tried to call 911 again later to say hey, where are you? I need help. And nobody responded.”
Police acknowledged mistakes and said the call was mislabeled as a suspicious incident instead of a shooting which delayed the response.
“It’s something we’re not proud of and it’s something that we definitely needed to looked into,” said Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry.
Two 911 call takers were eventually terminated and a supervisor was suspended after it was found that she had a Netflix movie playing on one of her computer screens. But Pakett said that’s not good enough.
“We’re not satisfied with that at all,” Pakett said. “We want to see justice for my client. We want this to never happen again.”
Police did quick work to catch the suspect in the random shooting — Kyriakos Manolas. Detectives gathered surveillance video from the gas station and several nearby businesses.
Detectives eventually arrested Manolas and the crime lab determined that the bullet recovered from the victim’s car matched Manolas’ gun.
Manolas pleaded not guilty to the charges.