MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The search is on for a “very dangerous individual” who opened fire on several Miami-Dade police vehicles Wednesday night in Perrine.
The President of the South Florida PBA tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench he is “outraged” after the 3rd incident in less than two weeks in which Miami-Dade Police officers have been fired at.
“Enough is enough,” said PBA President Steadman Stahl. “I am outraged with what’s going on in this community. It’s terrible. This anti-police rhetoric has got to stop. It is dangerous out there. If we don’t do something it will get worse. Nobody wants to go to a police officer’s funeral and we need to stop and think about this anti-police rhetoric.”
“Three cars were shot up,” he said. “One of them had four bullets shot into the door. How it missed the officer I don’t know. St. Michael must have been looking out for that officer. I want more local officials to speak out on our behalf.”
“The Miami-Dade police department’s South District Gang Unit and Homicide Task Force were conducting an investigation at corner of Evergreen and Homestead Avenues when they were approached by a black male that immediately started firing upon their vehicles. A gunfire exchange ensued between the officers and the male. He immediately ran from the scene and a perimeter was established,” said Detective Artemis Colome.
No officers were injured but three vehicles were struck by gunfire at an apartment complex at Southwest 100th Avenue and 173rd Terrace.
“The officers were inside their vehicles, they do have vests on with police insignia. But they were inside undercover vehicles. This male just came out of nowhere and started firing at them. We don’t know at the time if he knew they were police officers or not. Again, a very dangerous individual. Any person who would go and shoot at three vehicles is capable of doing anything.” said Colome.
“It was a very close call for our officers. Thankfully none of them were injured but times like this are when we need the community’s assistance,” he added.
Miami-Dade Police didn’t say exactly how many officers were involved in Wednesday’s shooting. Police fear the latest shooting is the beginning of a dangerous trend and pointed to a scene on July 31 when a North Carolina fugitive was killed in a shootout with police. In that instance, an officer’s bulletproof vest was credited with saving his life.
“Luckily that bulletproof vest saved his life,” said Stahl. “And the previous Friday there was a shooting in West Kendall where a party goer was shot at and officers located the suspect and they even got into gunfire with that subject. It is dangerous out there. There are mothers and fathers being gunned down. And now it’s not just civilians being shot but people are turning on police.”
“We could’ve had a funeral, that means someone’s father is not coming home,” said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta with the Miami-Dade Police Department. Zabaleta demonstrated for CBS4 how close the bullets came to hitting the officers in one pickup truck.
Police believe the shooter is in his late teens or early 20s. They believe he is armed and dangerous. They have been scouring the area for surveillance tape.
Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).