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Wounded North Miami Beach Officer Testifies Against Alleged Shooter

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Wounded North Miami Beach Police Officer Lino Diaz recalled the moments on Monday that he was nearly shot and killed while he and the SWAT team were serving a warrant at a home on February 6th.

"I heard two gunshots, bang, bang," Diaz testified on Monday at an Arthur hearing at the Metro Justice Building which will determine if the alleged gunman, Elton Bandoo, will be allowed to post bond.

"It was like this," Diaz testified. "My leg and arm were hit. I started yelling. I have been shot. I felt the impact."

Bandoo and his family members listened as the 47-year-old Diaz testified about the shooting at the home which happened as a warrant tied to identity theft was being served.

Elton Bandoo
Elton Bandoo (Source: Miami-Dade Department of Corrections)

CLICK HERE To Watch Peter D'Oench's Report

Outside the courtroom, Diaz told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "I feel better. I am recovering. I am still in much pain, but every day it gets less and less. I hope to walk out there soon and return to full duty in three to six months. I am doing physical therapy every day.

"I realize this is part of the risks we take as police officers. Any incident with an officer, nothing is routine as is the case here. I'm still humbled by the support I get from the community, not just the community where I work but also where I reside."

Diaz told D'Oench, "I'm not going to change my career path. I am eager to rejoin the SWAT team. This is like a passion I have for my job. You have to have a positive outlook, no matter how many negative things are thrown at you. In my opinion, I think a positive attitude helps you recover."

Earlier in the day, North Miami Beach Police Officer Craig Catlin testified that the names of at least 200 people and their social security numbers were found in a closet at Bandoo's home along with 100 pairs of sneakers.

Bandoo is charged with the attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

Catlin spoke about a rap video that was played in court that had been seen on You Tube. Authorities said the video, titled "Pull out the Stick," shows Bandoo waving around a variety of weapons and talking about violence.

Catlin said the words "blood and bullets" were mentioned along with the phrase "heat 'em up" which means kill someone.

Catlin said for more than 30 seconds, officers yelled that they were at the home to serve a search warrant. Bandoo told police he thought he was being robbed so he fired his weapon.

Catlin said four flash bangs were used as a distraction by officers and then he heard shots and saw a muzzle flash of a gun.

He saw Officer Diaz being dragged by his bullet-proof vest to safety.

Diaz underwent surgery for his arm but doctors decided to leave the bullet in his right leg because it had lodged in his muscle.


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