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February 21, 2014

Exclusive: Video shows shooting of Miami Gardens police officer

Officer Ryan Thompson survived with wound to the leg while his alleged attacker is now charged with attempted murder.

When Miami Gardens Police Officer Ryan Thompson confronted a domestic violence suspect next to a street-side bus stop last month, the man suddenly pulled a handgun.

“He raised it up so quick-like,” an eyewitness told detectives.

Thompson, caught off guard, could only raise his hands.

“He looked like, ‘You got me,’” said the eyewitness, a woman whose car had broken down just feet away.

She added: “I just heard shots, shots, shots.”

Newly released video surveillance footage obtained by The Miami Herald shows the alleged gunman, Randy Thomas, lunging at the officer while firing his weapon. The dramatic encounter resulted in a flurry of gunfire on the 2100 block of Northwest 183rd Street.

Thompson survived, with a through-and-through wound to the right thigh. Thomas was shot too, also surviving with three gunshot wounds from police bullets.

Thomas, 44, is now charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

At the time of the shooting, Thomas had been on probation on a conviction for grand-theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing police and driving without a valid license. Deemed a “habitual offender,” he has a long history of arrests dating back to the early 1990s.

According to police reports and witness statements, Thomas had been drinking that day when he threatened his fiancee with a gun at a Miami Gardens apartment complex. The woman, Sabrina Modest, dialed 911 but did not mention a weapon in the brief call.

Thomas also pushed down her sister, who was trying to get into the home, according to witnesses.

After the 911 call, officers Thompson and Carmelo Garcia arrived.

The video surveillance footage, recorded by an apartment complex camera, shows that as officers interviewed the fiancee, Thomas tried walking away through the parking lot. The officer hustled after Thomas, who had moved behind the bus stop shelter.

The video shows that the officer did not draw his weapon and fire until it was too late. Garcia fired at Thomas from the second-story of the apartment building before rushing to his fellow officer’s aid.

Thompson is still recovering from his wound and has not returned to duty. A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

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