A driver in an Aventura Mall parking garage was shot and wounded by a police officer Wednesday after he refused to pull over and then accelerated toward the officer, Aventura police said.
The officer fired a shot, or shots, hitting the suspect on the second floor of the garage near Bloomingdale’s department store. The driver, who had a female passenger, was in a stolen burgundy four-door Honda, said Aventura Police Sgt. Chris Goranitis.
The incident happened about 12:20 p.m. when the Aventura police officer, who was not identified, attempted to walk up to the Honda on a traffic stop and to question the driver, identified Thursday as Kenneth Taylor, 19.
But Taylor accelerated, aiming the car toward the officer, Goranitis said.
“This person drove in a reckless manner with no regard for anyone around him,” Goranitis said.
The officer fired at Taylor, who kept on going, Goranitis said. He struck a parked police car and a wall in the garage, Goranitis added.
Taylor suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to Aventura Hospital in custody. No one else was injured.
He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, grand auto theft, felony aggravated fleeing, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
The passenger, identified Thursday as Quantazesha Moneisha Clark, 19, was arrested on an active arrest warrant.
The mall is at Northeast 195th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, but the garage is on the back side of the property, hugging West Country Club Drive across from the Turnberry golf course.
Police sealed off the garage, but the mall itself stayed open for business, and customers shopped and walked in and out as usual as officers swarmed the scene and began their investigation.
“Operations have not been affected,” mall management said in a statement.
“Nobody is in danger. There is no one at large. This was an isolated incident,” Goranitis said.
In January, a similar drama played out at a strip shopping center north of the mall.
At the center, which is anchored by a Target and Whole Foods Market, two Aventura police officers fired several rounds into a car after the driver used the car to threaten an officer’s life. The driver took off but was arrested later in the day in Broward County.
In past years, the Aventura Mall has been the site of several shootings.
In 2009, one person was wounded in a police-involved shooting in a parking garage near JCPenney. In 2008, a man opened fire on a woman in another mall parking lot, wounding the woman before killing himself.
In 1999, a love triangle turned deadly in a murder-suicide in front of a mall Starbucks.