Miami-Dade Police Officer Mario Gutierrezs condition continued to improve at Jackson Memorial Hospital Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after he was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver at a gas station near Miami International Airport.
According to police, Gutierrez, 54, was in good spirits. He was alert and surrounded by his family and friends.
Doctors at Ryder Trauma Center said Wednesday they are very satisfied with his progress and his recovery.
Doctor Tanya Zakrison said Gutierrez has stab wounds to his legs, chest and arms. The wound to his right arm was losing a lot of blood, prompting doctors to rush the 21-year police veteran into surgery.
Hes actually recovering very well, so the challenges are minimal, Zakrison said. Were looking at his motor and neurological status of his right arm, and that seems to be intact.
Gutierrez was at the Shell gas station at 2501 NW 42nd Ave., to stop a man from trying to set fire to the place, Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson said.
Around 7:30 p.m., police responded around 7:30 p.m. to a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they found Gutierrez injured with puncture wounds and a dead suspect nearby.
Police have now identified him as 51-year old Dominique Jean who was arrested last year for aggravated assault with a knife.
Records show this was not Jeans first run in with law enforcement.In December of 2012, he was arrested after a victim claimed Jean chased him and tried to stab him in the back with a knife. He was charged with aggravated assault with a knife.
According to the clerk, Jean grabbed a nozzle from a nearby gas pump and tried to pump gasoline into the hole.
He walks over to the pump. He pours gasoline inside the hole to set them ablaze, said store clerk Manny Fidalgo.
Police Union President John Rivera also said Jean wanted to burn down the entire station.
Police Maj. Hector Llevat said Gutierrez had a confrontation with the suspect and was forced to pull his gun and shoot. The man died at the scene.
He was trying to stop that person from setting fire, said Patterson outside Jackson Memorial Hospital. This is an example of how officers are out there everyday going out and serving the community and how they put their lives on the line and how life can change in an instant, he said.
Patterson said he was grateful that Gutierrez was able to defend himself.
He used all the force that was necessary, said Patterson, adding that Gutierrez may have prevented a tragedy from occurring.