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Thursday, 6 March 2008

Gun used to shoot Miami-Dade Officer Roberto Gonzalez had been stolen

The gun believed to have been used by an ex-felon to shoot Miami-Dade Officer Roberto Gonzalez had been stolen last year in a burglary in South Miami-Dade, according to an arrest report released Monday.Police found the Heckler & Koch .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol soon after Gonzalez, 31, was wounded in South Miami Heights late Sunday.Detectives arrested Jhonnell Harris, 20, of 11611 SW 180th St., Sunday night and charged him with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft.He was booked Monday morning into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Tracing the gun's serial number, Miami-Dade homicide detectives found the gun had been reported stolen on July 21, 2007. The bureau declined to release the burglary report because of the ongoing investigation.Gonzalez, a rookie with 10 months on the force, was rushed by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. He underwent surgery Monday.
''He is recovering now with his family,'' said Miami-Dade Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman.Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez plans to visit Gonzalez on Tuesday. The mayor's chief of staff, Denis Morales, visited Gonzalez on Sunday night.
''He was in good spirits. He was more concerned with the apprehension of the subject,'' Morales said. 'He told me, `I did my best to stay with [Harris] as long as I could.' ''
The shooting prompted renewed calls by the police union to add officers, increase pay and prosecute criminals with more vigor.
''It really truly is a war zone out there. In my 31 years, I've never seen it this bad,'' said Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera.
The shooting comes less than two months after Miami Detective James Walker was shot and killed in North Miami Beach, a shooting investigators believe was a case of mistaken identity.In September, Officer Jose Somohano -- like Gonzalez, of the Cutler Ridge police district -- was shot and killed by a man wielding an assault rifle in a firefight. Three other officers were wounded.In the arrest report released Monday, investigators said Gonzalez was investigating a burglary at a South Miami Heights warehouse, 10440 SW 186th Ter., about 8:15 p.m. Sunday.
Gonzalez then saw Harris sprint west on Southwest 186th Lane. The rookie gave chase, radioing the man's description over the radio.Harris turned around, wielding the pistol, and fired several rounds. Gonzalez was hit twice, never returning fire, according to the report.A witness saw Harris, who was wearing dark clothes, running from the warehouse district.Fellow Miami-Dade officers from the Cutler Ridge district collared Harris in a U-Gas parking lot.Officers found the H&K handgun in a trash bin and several casings on the roadway nearby.Harris has been in trouble with the law before.
In 2005, he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon. In December 2005, Harris was arrested on charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft and criminal mischief. He received probation, which was later revoked.
The next year, he was convicted of third-degree grand theft and marijuana possession.
Last year, he was arrested in an armed robbery case, but the charge was later dropped when detectives realized the actual culprit was his younger brother



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