The suspected shooter, identified in reports as 32-year-old Yessenia Sanchez, is in custody. The victim of the attack, identified by at least three newsrooms as Miami-Dade Police Officer Damian Colon, was rushed to the Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. Colon was reportedly not on duty when he was critically wounded.
According to several of the reports, police did not officially identify Colon; his name appears to have been given to local reporters by sources they did not reveal.
— Julia Bagg (@JuliaNBC6) November 4, 2022
Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez said family and colleagues were “all praying for” the gravely wounded officer this morning and asked the public to do the same, according to Miami ABC affiliate WPLG. That same television station said Colon was “fighting for his life” but had since come out of surgery. His prognosis is currently not clear from the available reports.
In a headline, Miami CBS affiliate WFOR reported that the victim officer was shot in the head and that he had been on the Miami-Dade force for 17 years. However, at a press conference, Ramirez wouldn’t confirm the officer’s precise injuries.
Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine Cava (D) joined the “dozens” of police officers who assembled outside the relevant hospital on Friday morning, according to FOX affiliate WSVN.
“I just want everyone to know that we are all praying as a community, and we’re hopeful,” the mayor said at an impromptu press conference at the trauma center. “We’re hopeful that this will come out well, and so we ask the whole community to join us, please, in prayers and in hope.”
We ask for your prayers 🙏 pic.twitter.com/3eby6JObL7
— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) November 4, 2022
The shooting is said to have happened in the 1200 block of West 79th Street in Hialeah, Florida, a city northwest of downtown Miami that is part of the immediate Miami metropolitan area. Neighbors told WPLG that they heard one gunshot at 6:30 a.m.
The Hialeah Police Department is taking the lead on the investigation given that it happened in its jurisdiction, according to multiple reports.
Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ said Colon was shot outside his parents’ home and that a “substantial” amount of blood was on the ground outside the residence.
Video recorded around the noon hour by multifarious local television stations showed police officers swirling around tents as they collected evidence in the taped-off, palm-tree-lined neighborhood.
“The shooter is a former Miami-Dade school police officer who has been terminated some time ago,” Hialeah Police Sgt. Jose Torres said at a press conference.
Torres also said Colon was in “extremely” critical condition, according to WTVJ.
The sergeant further indicated that the shooting stemmed from a “domestic-related incident.”
According to “sources” cited by local affiliates, Sanchez is not a stranger to law enforcement — and not because of her past employment.
In September of last year (2021), NBC affiliate WTVJ said Sanchez was booked on “charges of domestic violence battery and criminal mischief.”
According to an arrest report in that incident, Sanchez and her live-in boyfriend, who the report says was also a cop, started arguing by telephone about child care. That argument continued when the two met in person. Sanchez threw a “ceramic object” at the boyfriend, and it “shattered on the ground.”
The boyfriend left “to keep the peace,” the police report says.
However, Sanchez called the boyfriend and told him to return.
“The victim returned to the residence and found the defendant with a firearm pointed to her head,” the 2021 police report continues. “She made threats to harm herself with the firearm. The victim was able to retrieve the firearm from her. He then made the firearm safe and stored it inside the closet. As the victim attempted to leave the residence again, the defendant started punching and scratching him. She then armed herself with a knife and made threats to hurt herself.”
The victim left again with hopes that doing so would “deescalate the situation,” the 2021 police report states. However, Sanchez called his cell phone and told him that if he did “not return home I’m going to flatten your vehicle tires.”
“The victim did not witness the defendant flatten the tires, however when he arrived home his personal vehicle and his departmental issued vehicle had flat tires.”
The 2021 police report says the victim suffered “multiple scratches on his neck, arm and back areas.”
The report says that Sanchez claimed her boyfriend slapped her first; however, it says she had “no evidence to support her claims.”
WTVJ’s report on that 2021 incident says Sanchez was a current officer at the time and had been with the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department for two years.
WPLG reported in 2021 that Sanchez and her boyfriend had been together for “about five years” at the time of that incident.
It’s unclear from the police report and from the old television station reports whether the boyfriend involved in the 2021 incident was Colon.
The outcome of any concomitant court case is not entirely clear; no Miami-Dade proceeding on point appears in the appropriate court database. The police report simply states that Sanchez was booked into Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
On Friday, WTVJ clarified that Sanchez resigned from her job as a school cop because of the 2021 incident. She would have been fired had she not quit, the TV station added.
Colon has a son and a daughter, the NBC affiliate said.
Sanchez is reportedly in custody. The precise nature of any charges against her is not clear, and her name does not currently appear on a Miami-Dade jail roster.
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