A man whose car lurched off the 18-mile stretch and into shallow ocean water just north of the Florida Keys was shot by a Miami-Dade police officer Thursday, after he grabbed the officer’s Taser and threatened him with it, police said.
Police said the man, who hasn’t been named, was helped from his half-submerged car by at least one passerby before he made it to the roadway and became uncooperative with a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission officer who showed up at the scene.
“He actually tries to walk away,” said Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Carlos Rosario. “They called Miami-Dade police.”
According to Rosario, when two Miami-Dade officers arrived, they too approached the man, who grabbed one of the officer’s Tasers and pointed it at him. That’s when he was shot.
“One or both fired,” Rosario said.
The officers, who haven’t been named, were not injured. Rosario said one of them is a 28-year veteran, the other has been on the force for eight years. The man was airlifted to Jackson South Hospital, where he remained Thursday night in stable condition, Rosario said.
It’s unclear why the man flipped his car into the water or why he was so uncooperative with police.
The incident took place around noon at Mile Marker 114 just south of Florida City. The 18-mile stretch of highway was shut off to traffic heading in both directions for most of the day. Vehicles were rerouted to Card Sound Road.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. And the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will look into the shooting.