A Miami-Dade police detective was shot in the head after a car chase in Liberty City on Monday night, while the suspected shooter was killed in the confrontation with officers, authorities said.
The detective belonged to Robbery Intervention Detail and was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Multiple law enforcement sources told the Herald that the officer did not survive his injuries, but a Miami-Dade Police public information officer said late Monday night that he was clinging on still alive.
Miami-Dade Police Superintendent Alfredo Ramirez, flanked by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, appeared visibly shaken as he spoke to reporters just after midnight Tuesday.
“He was gravely shot by an armed subject while protecting his community,” Ramirez said. “We need the community to stand up and pray.”
Hours after the incident, dozens of officers from South Florida departments had gathered outside Jackson, some visibly moved. Miami-Dade Police Union President Steadman Stahl acknowledged, “It’s not going well.”
The detective, whom the department had not publicly identified early Tuesday morning, is in his late 20s.
The suspect – who has not yet been identified – was shot and his body remains at the scene in Liberty City.
The department’s RID unit works on the front lines of law enforcement, with detectives in unmarked police cars working in high-crime neighborhoods, often arresting fugitives or those suspected of violent crimes.
Sources said the suspect’s white car had been identified as being involved in a previous armed robbery of an amenity in Dania Beach. Investigators later followed the white sedan to a motel in Miami Springs.
On Monday night, RID stopped the car on Northwest 62nd Street and 17th Avenue, but the man inside the car refused to get out. Officers reported the man as a “barricaded subject.”
READ MORE: The Miami-Dade officer who was shot worked at RID. What is it and what does it do?
But then, according to a Miami-Dade police press release, the car “began to ram into detective vehicles in an attempt to get away.” The car chase ended when the white car slammed into a passing car and a pole around Northwest 62nd Street and Seventh Avenue.
The suspect got out of the car and ran away. The RID detective, whose SUV came to a stop inches from the white car, got out of his car and that’s when he was shot, sources said. The suspect was shot nearby. It was not immediately known how many officers were involved or how many shots were fired during the exchange.
In a news release, Miami-Dade Police said “an altercation ensued and shots were fired, resulting in both officer and subject being dejected.”
The shooting drew a massive police response in Liberty City on Monday night. This included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which investigates police shootings involving county officers and will lead the investigation.
The detective’s shooting stunned the department. As investigators rushed to the scene to begin to piece together what happened, dozens of officers descended on Jackson Memorial Hospital. Some prayed together outside the hospital’s trauma center.
The last Miami-Dade police killing was in 2011, when a fugitive wanted for murder shot dead Miami-Dade guarantees Detective Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo. The shooter was shot dead by police.
Last year, FBI agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were shot dead in Sunrise by a man suspected of possessing child pornography. Months later, Hollywood police officer Yandy Chirino was shot deadaccording to the police, by an 18-year-old burglar.
Miami Herald writer Omar Rodriguez Ortiz contributed to this report.
This story was originally published August 15, 2022 9:48 p.m.