MIAMI (AP) — A man got out of a taxi with an assault rifle and opened fire on an officer, then stole the officer's cruiser and led police on a chaotic car chase before he was shot and wounded, authorities said Tuesday. Two bystanders also were hurt.
The officer shot back, and neither man was hit, said Miami police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz. However, the suspect managed to steal the police car and speed away.
Local Fraternal Order of Police President Javier Ortiz said a motorist passing by in a van used the vehicle to provide cover for the officer while the suspect was firing the assault rifle.
"The Fraternal Order of Police wants to thank this good Samaritan for putting his life on the line to save one of our brothers," Ortiz said.
Neither the driver nor the officer was identified.
Meanwhile, the suspect in the stolen police car was heading toward North Miami, where the chase ended in a residential neighborhood.
Officers traded gunfire with the suspect, who was shot and wounded and taken for treatment at a local hospital. Local television footage showed the Miami police cruiser behind crime scene tape with a bullet hole in its back window.
Authorities say two bystanders were also wounded with apparently non-life threatening injuries.
The names of those involved have not been released.