Crime

Cop suspended after accidentally firing weapon, striking maintenance worker

Reynier Miranda at his home in Southwest Miami-Dade on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Miranda, a maintenance worker, was cleaning the hallway in the apartment complex where he lives last week when he was struck by a bullet that came from inside an apartment where Miami-Dade police officer Wanda Ramos accidentally discharged her gun.
Reynier Miranda at his home in Southwest Miami-Dade on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Miranda, a maintenance worker, was cleaning the hallway in the apartment complex where he lives last week when he was struck by a bullet that came from inside an apartment where Miami-Dade police officer Wanda Ramos accidentally discharged her gun. rkoltun@elnuevoherald.com

Raynier Miranda had committed no crime. He was no threat. And he was in the hallway of his building when he was shot by a cop — who had no idea she’d shot him.

Now the South Miami-Dade maintenance worker is recovering at home after surgery and Miami-Dade police Sgt. Wanda Roman has been suspended.

Last week, the South Miami-Dade maintenance worker was cleaning the hallway at the West Kendall apartment complex where he also lives. At the same time, Roman was inside her apartment cleaning her revolver. The gun went off.

The bullet went through the front door and struck the unsuspecting cleaning man. It wasn’t until he reached the hospital that Miranda learned he’d been shot — the bullet piercing the aortic artery in his left arm and passing through his chest half an inch from his heart.

“I had no idea what happened. I didn’t see anybody around. I had no idea,” Miranda said Thursday, speaking in Spanish. “I was bleeding. I saw a lady coming and I started yelling for help.”

Miami-Dade police had little to say about the shooting, calling it an open investigation. They did say Roman is a 10-year veteran and has been suspended with pay pending a criminal investigation into the shooting. Her personnel file wasn’t available Thursday.

A source familiar with the investigation, however, said Roman wasn’t suspended because of the accidental discharge. She was relieved of duty because she delayed telling her supervisor that her gun went off. That happened, the source said, because Roman had no idea Miranda had been shot until the incident was investigated.

Miami-Dade police officers are trained and required to unload their weapons before taking them apart for cleaning.

“She breaches the primary rule,” said Miranda’s attorney Glenn Goldberg. “Take the bullets out of the revolver.”

The bullet that almost killed Miranda passed through his body and came out his back. He underwent surgery to close the artery in his arm and is now recovering at home. A sling holds up his left arm. Stitches run through his chest.

He said he was wearing a mask when he was shot because he was using bleach. At first, he had no idea it was a bullet. He felt a stinging sensation and thought he’d been electrocuted. He made it to a stairwell before a woman found him lapsing in and out of consciousness.

Miranda only learned he’d been shot after he got to Jackson South Hospital.

Married and the father of a 2-year-old, Miranda has been working at the apartment complex where he lives for three years. He moved to Miami from Cuba about five years ago. He has no plans to move because of the Sept. 15 incident and said he intends on returning to work after he recovers.

Miranda said he only knows Roman from exchanging pleasantries when they pass in the hallway. He said Roman hasn’t spoken with him since the shooting. If she did, Miranda said, he wouldn’t know what to say.

“I’m very frustrated. She’s caused me a lot of frustration,” he said. “It was very bad. I was in a lot of pain.”

  Comments