Stabbed and bleeding, her life draining from her, Joenny Maribel Medina Feliz made it from her second-floor apartment into a hallway, down 15 steps and out a locked front gate.
Her attacker followed, at one point stabbing the woman’s 2-year-old daughter inside the apartment. Another daughter, 18, witnessed the horrific scene.
On the street, a veteran Miami cop on routine patrol spotted the woman. When he jumped out of his car to help, the man with the knife lunged at him, a source with knowledge of the incident said.
The officer shot the man dead.
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Medina died later at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Her toddler is recovering there after surgery. The cop, though shaken, wasn’t hurt. His name was not immediately released. He’ll be on desk duty for the time being.
“It’s life-changing for both the children,” Miami police Detective Kenia Fallat said.
On Thursday afternoon, the scene was calm at the pink stucco, two-story building at 120 NW Seventh Ave. in Little Havana. Neighbors in the 16-unit structure went about their afternoon routines as if nothing happened.
But outside Apt. 6, where the family lived, blood still splattered the linoleum tiles. The trail led from the apartment to the set of stairs, down the stairs past the metal gate and into the street.
All that remained in the street were several yellow police markers that indicated bullet shell casings, and an upright bottle of peroxide.
Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes, who visited the murder scene not long after the tragedy at 1:45 a.m. Thursday, said police spent the morning gathering forensics and interviewing witnesses, some of them relatives.
“It originated inside a house and went into the street. There are five or seven witnesses who are related to one or the other of them,” the chief said.
Some of the witnesses went to the hospital to help the toddler recover.
The relationship between the man shot dead by the police officer and the woman and her two daughters remained unclear. Police had not released his name, saying they had not yet notified immediate family members.
“We don’t know if he’s their father,” Fallat said.
Also unclear was whether police recovered the weapon used to kill Medina and harm her young daughter. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, like it does in all Miami police-involved shootings, has taken over the investigation.
Javier Ortiz, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, raced to the scene. He said the officer’s actions saved lives of others out on the street.
“As tragic as this may sound,” Ortiz said, “the police officer saved the life of an innocent bystander. There is no doubt that it will be concluded as justified. The police officer involved is a hero.”