MIAMI – An apparent shoplifting incident at a Miami store parking lot Wednesday showed a police officer with a gunshot wound and a second person dead, authorities said.
Manuel Gonzalez was an off-duty detail in uniform to provide security at a Walmart when he is faced with the shoplifting suspect, the Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said at a press conference. Gonzalez and David Facen exchanged shots at close range and the officer was struck several times, Perez said.
The 54-year-old Facen was killed by the officer. The tv news reports showed a body covered with a yellow plastic sheet between two cars in the parking lot. TV reports also showed the 31-year-old officer walking with help in the emergency room of a hospital.
“Our director is going to be in order. Now he is in a good mood, despite being shot multiple times,” Perez said. “God was with him today. I can’t emphasize that enough.”
No one else was injured, although the store and parking lot were crowded with holiday shoppers.
Gonzalez is a seven-year veteran and is married with two children, Perez said. Perez added that Miami-Dade officers frequently work off-duty security details on shops and malls to earn extra money during the holidays, and to deter shoplifting, car break-ins and other crimes.
“He just wanted to do his job,” Perez said. “The dangers are always there.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the case, if it wasn’t for all the shootings involving the Miami-Dade police.
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