Miami-Dade County

Miami cop accidentally shoots Publix shopper when reaching in pocket, police say

Miami Herald File

An off-duty Miami police officer accidentally shot a female shopper at a West Kendall Publix on Wednesday afternoon.

The officer had been waiting in line at the Publix at 16800 North Kendall Dr. when he reached into his pocket and accidentally fired his handgun about 12:15 p.m.

A bullet ricocheted off the ground and “grazed” the shopper. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue treated the woman for a minor injury, but she was not taken to a hospital, Miami-Dade police spokesman Detective Lee Cowart said.

Miami Police identified the officer as Mario Gonzalez, an 11-year veteran of the department currently assigned to the Training and Personnel Development Section. Gonzalez has been administratively reassigned per department policy. Internal Affairs is investigating the incident.

The off-duty officer is not expected to be arrested because the incident was an “accidental discharge of a weapon,” Cowart said. But police are investigating the circumstances leading up to the shooting.

Florida law prohibits “wantonly or maliciously” discharging a firearm in a private building.