Cop’s bullet-proof vest likely saved his life in Miami Shores shooting


Almost four days after a cop was shot and a man was killed in a bizarre showdown on a quiet residential Miami Shores street, police continue to withhold the name of the dead man and the officer from the public and won’t even speculate on a motive for the shootings.

But according to sources familiar with the incident and the mayor of Golden Beach, the man shot the Golden Beach officer from inside a closet in an abandoned home before killing himself. And the life of the officer, identified by Miami Herald news partner CBS 4 as Julio Soca, was likely saved by his bullet-proof vest.

Miami-Dade police told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that they haven’t released the dead man’s name because they haven’t been able to reach his family. Miami Shores has referred all questions to Miami-Dade. And the little town of Golden Beach on the Miami-Dade-Broward County line — whose police department is best known for writing tickets — hasn’t returned phone calls.

“We have an initial report, which is not available for release right now,” said Miami Shores Lt. David Golt. “Any info on that case is being handled by Miami-Dade police.”

Reached Tuesday, Miami-Dade police Sgt. Carlos Rosario said his department isn’t releasing any information on the man who was killed until they reach his family members.

According to police, a woman notified Miami Shores officers of a man wearing a mask and with a gun standing outside her home just after 11 p.m. Friday. The woman told police the man didn’t rob her and told her to get back into her house. She complied — and called police.

The man then entered an abandoned home at 10600 bllock of Northeast 11th Court, a single-family residence in a well-kept neighborhood just west of Biscayne Boulevard and north of Miami Shores Golf Course.

Miami Shores police closed off the street and requested help from K9 officers and Golden Beach police responded. According to a source, Soca and his K9 entered the home. When he reached a closet — it’s unclear which room the closet was in — the gunman fired. The officer was taken to Aventura Hospital in stable condition.

Golden Beach Mayor Glenn Singer told CBS 4 that Soca, a two-year veteran, was shot in the arm and that another bullet was lodged between his back and his bulletproof vest, which likely saved him.

Miami-Dade SWAT members arrived and spent several hours trying to get the man to come out. After they entered, a witness told CBS 4 there were four gunshots. A source said the man had shot himself and that no SWAT member fired a weapon.

“MDPD Special Response Team, along with hostage negotiators responded to the scene. Negotiators were unable to negotiate with the subject and SRT made entry into the residence, discovering the subject deceased inside,” Miami-Dade police said in a statement.