Miami Cop Shoots Suspect Who Stabbed Him in Face at Magic City Casino

The poker player got belligerent around 12:30 this morning, causing enough of a commotion that Magic City Casino staffers asked him to leave. When he wouldn't, a City of Miami cop working security stepped in to force him to exit the gambling room. That's when things got hairy.

Police say the man threw cash at the officer, pulled out a weapon, and stabbed him in the face. The cop pulled his gun and shot the man.

"He was trying to remove this man when he attacked him. An altercation ensued, and the officer discharged his firearm," Det. Frederica Burden, an MPD spokesperson, tells New Times.

As of this morning, police are still questioning witnesses and gathering evidence at the Little Havana casino. They aren't releasing the officer's and suspect's names yet, Burden says. The officer wasn't seriously injured in the stabbing, and the suspect was rushed to Jackson Memorial for surgery. 

Javier Ortiz, the police union's chief, praised the casino staff for acting quickly to help the cop working security.

"The officer discharged his firearm to protect himself as well as to protect the public," Ortiz says. "I want to thank the Magic City Casino who immediately rendered aid and acted with complete professionalism."

The shooting is the first of the year for a City of Miami cop. In 2015, at least 15 suspects died during police interactions in Miami-Dade, according to stats compiled by the Guardian; the end of the year was particularly bloody, including one weekend in November when Miami-area police shot seven people, killing two.

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