A 29-year-old Florida police detective has died after being shot while on duty, authorities said late Wednesday.
Officer Cesar “Echy” Echaverry of the Miami-Dade Police Department was seriously injured Monday night during a shootout with a suspect in an armed robbery in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. The suspect – identified as 32-year-old Jerry Horton of Madison Heights, Michigan – had opened fire on officers after allegedly robbing a grocery store in Dania Beach and fleeing the crime scene. Horton and a second suspect were then shot dead by the officers, according to police.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.
Echaverry was taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition Monday night, police said. Dozens of local officials and law enforcement officers gathered outside the hospital on Wednesday to support Echaverry and his family. During Wednesday’s Miami Marlins game, the baseball team dedicated a jersey to Echaverry, with his name and the number nine etched on the back.
On Wednesday evening, Alfredo Ramirez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, announced via Twitter that Echaverry had died. Echaverry was a police detective for Miami-Dade’s Robbery Intervention Detail.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the untimely passing of Officer Cesar ‘Echy’ Echaverry,” Ramirez said. “Surrounded by loved ones, Echy succumbed to his injuries after a brief battle for his life.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she was “heartbroken” when she learned of the young detective’s death.
“He laid down his life to stop a violent criminal, and we will be eternally grateful for his selfless service and sacrifice to our community,” Levine Cava said in a statement Wednesday night. “Echy, as he was fondly known by his police family, will always be remembered for his bravery, his devotion to duty and his unwavering dedication to keeping our residents safe.”
“We thank Echy’s parents for raising a hero and we stand in solidarity with them as they grieve,” she added. “Our county is safer today thanks to the bravery of Detective Echaverry – a sacrifice we will never forget.”
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