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"Within a split second the officer is shot and he's clinging to life" Large show support for critically injured Miami-Dade officer

Large show of support for wounded police officer
Large show of support for wounded police officer 02:45

MIAMI - Dozens and dozens of law enforcement officers from a number of departments lined the emergency entrance at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Monday night in a show of support for a Miami-Dade officer who was shot in the head.

That officer, who is part of the Robbery Intervention Detail, or RID, was shot by a robbery suspect after a short chase in Liberty City.

Steadman Stahl, the President of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association, said RID's main objective is to rid the streets of criminal thugs.

"RID is one of those specialized units", he said. "They go after the worst of the worst. That's what they're designed to do, go after the worst of the worst".

Stahl also told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "He is a young officer and he engaged the devil last night."

Stahl wouldn't provide details about Monday's shooting investigation, of which the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now in charge. While he wouldn't release the officer's name, he did say his family was devastated.

"He's been on the department just over five years now. He's not even in his 30's yet. He's a very young officer. I don't believe he's got any kids. He does have a fiancé and a mother and father that are just devastated by what's happening right now," said Stahl.

Fellow officers waited late into the night at the hospital for any encouraging word. There were hugs and prayers, perhaps being reminded of the reality of just how dangerous their job is.

"These officers don't know when they leave their house if they're going to go home or not. Last night was an example of just that," Stahl said. "We had officers out there. They were looking for a robbery suspect. Within a split second the officer is shot and he's clinging to life."

The officer is in extremely critical condition.

Amid the devastating news, one man showed a glimpse of humanity. With rosary beads and a prayer book in hand, Alvaro Lugo, dropped by the hospital for a random act of kindness.

"He's offering his life to protect us", said Lugo.

"So you came here just to pray for him?" asked Keith Jones

Lugo replied, "Just to pray for him yes."

Stahl added "It is a very dangerous time out there for our officers. And the support is really appreciated. The community has been overwhelming in its support."

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