miami15 Posted September 13, 2004 Share Posted September 13, 2004 Shot with rifle, Dade officer in stable condition A driver, pulled over by a police officer, opened fire with an assault rifle, shooting the officer several times and causing her cruiser to erupt in flames. BY SOFIA SANTANA Herald Writer A Miami-Dade police officer was shot several times and her police cruiser erupted in flames after a driver she stopped Sunday opened fire with an AK-47, shooting nearly two dozen bullets, police said. The officer, whose name was not released, was in stable condition at the Ryder Trauma Center, recovering from a wound to the shoulder, police said. She was also grazed on the forehead. By Sunday evening police were still hunting for the shooter, who they said drove a white 2000 Chevrolet Impala. Police later traced the Impala to an Opa-locka man they were questioning Sunday evening, and were still looking for yet another man for questioning. Police asked The Herald not to print the names of the two men, because identification could make it more difficult for investigators to narrow down suspects. They also don't want possible witnesses to be influenced. The police officer was on routine patrol in the Miami Gardens area when she heard gunshots. She then spotted the Impala leaving the area where she thought the shots came from, police said. The officer put on her cruiser's flashing lights and siren and pulled the Impala over at Northeast 184th Terrace and North Miami Avenue. As she stepped out of the police car, the driver of the Impala jumped out and opened fire, said police spokesman Robert Williams. Then, the gunman jumped back into the Impala. As he drove away, the officer's cruiser caught fire -- apparently from a bullet striking the fuel line or tank, police said. The officer was not injured by the blaze, which engulfed and charred the front half of the car. The gunman escaped with his weapon, police said. A witness then provided this account. James Fulton, who lives on Northwest 185th Street, said he was driving home from work and heard gunshots on North Miami Avenue and 183rd Terrace. ''I saw the police car and the driver's side door was open, but I didn't see the officer,'' he said. There was no other car on North Miami Avenue by the time Fulton got there, he said. Moments later, he saw the fire and police officers rushing to the scene. ''I've never seen anything like this,'' he said. ``You rarely see police here. This neighborhood is not that bad.'' Fulton and other neighbors watched as police combed the streets for evidence, placing small orange cones where they found items of interest -- mostly bullet casings. They even checked some nearby backyards and the roof of at least one house. Fulton said he thought the only other possible witnesses were a group of men who routinely gather to talk during the night at the Citgo gas station at Northwest 183rd Street and North Miami Avenue. An employee there who worked the night shift said he and the men who were at the gas station heard the shots about 2:30 a.m. ''The guys ran away, they were scared,'' Kabir Burham said. ``I locked the door to the store because they were trying to get in.'' Sunday's shooting of a Miami-Dade police officer is the second in less than a year. Miami-Dade police officer Chad Murphy was shot in the back on Oct. 24, 2003 while on patrol in South Miami-Dade. He was saved by his bullet-proof vest and suffered only minor injuries. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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