MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The President of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association tells CBS4 he is both horrified and alarmed after a gunman opened fire on an FHP trooper who had been sitting in his car.
Authorities said the shooting occurred on Miami Gardens Drive just west of U.S. One around 2 pm on Wednesday.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Joining In The Fight Against Global Pandemic
FHP says the gunman opened fire for no apparent reason.
South Florida PBA president Steadman Stahl tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “It is pure evil. There is pure evil out there. This trooper was just doing his job, sitting in his car when this animal comes up and for no reason at all starts shooting. We are lucky that state trooper is still alive right now and I don’t believe that bad guy will be pointing guns at police anytime soon.”
Cell phone video obtained by CBS4 shows the suspect lying on the ground after he was wounded.
The FHP trooper was able to return fire, wounding the suspect, who was rushed to Aventura Hospital. He has not been identified.
FHP says the trooper was guarding a lane closure for a roadway project when a man in a white Nissan stopped, got out, walked up to the trooper, and opened fire.
Authorities say the gunman was unprovoked and Stahl says police agencies have seen such incidents nationwide.
“There are shootings everywhere, but I am concerned about the anti-police rhetoric that we saw last year. I think it is spilling over. I was hoping to see a decrease in it but we are not. I am very concerned to see our F.B.I. Agents and our police officers being shot and shot at for no reason at all.”
Dr. Matthew Cooper, the owner of nearby Skylake Animal Hospital, said he did what he could to try to help the trooper and the suspect.READ MORE: South Florida House Republicans Vote Against President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package
“We heard gunshots,” he said. “I ran outside to see what happened. I immediately ran over with a tourniquet and gloves to see if the officer was hurt. Thankfully he wasn’t.”
“Apparently he was in a reclining position,” he said. “There were 4 bullets in his front seat.”
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Cooper said “I am so shocked that even though the officer faced an immediate threat his primary goal was to help that gentleman who was wounded. It goes to show you what bravery that FHP trooper showed.”
It happened just one day after two FBI Agents, Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were shot and killed and three other agents were wounded while serving a warrant in a child porn case in Sunrise.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those 2 FBI agents,” said Stahl. “It shows that you never know when evil will show its face.”
Referring to the FHP shooting, he said, “How he did not get hit, must be St. Michael out there, protecting him. He had an angel looking over him.”
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating this shooting.MORE NEWS: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando
The trooper has not been identified. He is on non-disciplinary administrative leave, which is also standard policy after such incidents.