Crime

Rookie police officer on way home stops a stabbing and kills suspect, cops say

Miami officer stops stabbing and shoots suspect

A rookie Miami police officer fatally shot a man stabbing a woman in Miami Lakes on Sunday morning, according to police.
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A rookie Miami police officer fatally shot a man stabbing a woman in Miami Lakes on Sunday morning, according to police.

A rookie Miami police officer fatally shot a man who had stabbed a woman near Miami Lakes Middle School on Sunday morning, according to police.

Yurine Rodriguez-Perez, 27, was in good condition after county paramedics airlifted her to Ryder Trauma Center, Miami-Dade police said.

The officer, whom police identified Monday as Rafael Horta, was in uniform when the drama unfolded around 7 a.m. Sunday in a driveway at Miami Lakes Middle School, 6425 Miami Lakeway North, according to Miami police.

The shooting is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the stabbing is being handled by Miami-Dade police.

According to Miami-Dade, Horta was on his way home from work when he came upon Rodriguez-Perez and a man, whom police identified Monday as Relvy Rodriguez-Palenzuela, in a fight. A resident in a nearby apartment complex, Walter Villereal, said he saw most of the confrontation.

Villereal described the officer repeatedly saying, “Outside the car!” as he stood outside a pickup truck with the couple inside. The officer then broke a truck window. Villereal said he turned to leave when he saw the man get out of the truck with a knife raised, and then heard seven shots.

He said he later saw Rodriguez-Perez screaming and with cuts, including a large one near the right side of her throat.

Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said the officer was a rookie “in shock” from having to kill a suspect.

“On behalf of the FOP, there is no doubt in our mind that when the investigation is completed, this officer will be declared a hero,” Ortiz said. “If it wasn't for the swift actions of this officer, we would not only have had just one homicide here, we would've had a victim that would've been tragically injured.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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A rookie Miami police officer fatally shot a man stabbing a woman in Miami Lakes on Sunday morning, according to the head of the local police union. PATRICK FARRELL pfarrell@miamiherald.com

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