Florida police say officer ambushed in patrol car shooting

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2016 1:55 PM

By Letitia Stein

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A gunman shot and wounded a Florida police officer who was sitting in a patrol vehicle on Friday in an ambush-style attack, said the Miami Gardens Police Department, which apprehended the suspect.

Shortly after 8 a.m. local time, the officer noticed a black BMW sports utility vehicle driving back and forth past him. The driver proceeded to open up fire after making eye contact with the officer, police said.

"The officer was ambushed," Police Chief Antonio Brooklen told reporters.

The officer sustained nonlife-threatening injuries, according to police, who did not immediately release his name.

The incident comes two weeks after a gunman claiming allegiance to Islamic State militants shot and wounded a police officer in Philadelphia, according to authorities there, who also described the shooting as an ambush.

Miami Gardens police did not initially provide detail about the possible motives of the suspected shooter in South Florida.

"If you have that much hate and aggression to attempt to assassinate a police officer who is paid to protect and serve, there is no justification for it," Brooklen said at a news conference.

He said the suspect fired additional rounds at other officers chasing him as he fled, then crashed his vehicle. The suspect tried to run away, but was taken into custody.

The alleged gunman's name was not immediately released by Miami Gardens police, who did not specify the charges he faced.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)