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Miami-Dade officer shot in Walmart parking lot; gunman killed in firefight

David Ovalle and Charles Rabin, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

MIAMI -- An off-duty police officer working security at a Northwest Miami-Dade Walmart was shot "multiple times" before he shot a gunman to death on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The Miami-Dade officer, Manuel Gonzalez of the Northside District, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in a patrol car. He limped into the hospital on his own, and was in stable condition.

"At close range, he was able to survive multiple gunshot wounds," Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez told reporters. "He's in great spirits."

The body of the suspect, who has not been identified, remained on the ground, covered by a yellow tarp, between two cars in the crowded parking lot. A gun was found on the scene, Perez said.

The firefight unfolded after Gonzalez, who was in uniform, was asked to investigate a possible shoplifter at the Walmart. He confronted the man, who pulled a gun, police said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which investigates all Miami-Dade officer-involved shootings, will lead the investigation. Ultimately, Miami-Dade prosecutors will have to determine if the officer was justified in his use of deadly force.

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(Miami Herald staff writer David J. Neal contributed to this report.)

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