MIAMI FL June 1 2017 A Miami-Dade Police officer and security officer were honored, Wednesday, for their response to a shooting at a library in May.
Miami-Dade Police officer Saul Rodriguez was working extra off-duty hours at the main library in Downtown Miami, on West Flagler Street.
Usually the library is calm, but on May 3, about 30 minutes after doors opened, a fight broke out between two men, leading to gunfire.
“You wouldn’t expect this type of thing happening here,” Rodriguez said.
Alongside Rodriguez was Juanita Knighton, a security officer at the library who noticed something was wrong.
“I was approaching the gentleman that was being shot at because he was walking across the stairs. He had his phone on speaker, and he was talking very loud,” Knighton said.
Officer Rodriguez then stepped in after receiving a radio call from Knighton for assistance.
“Shortly thereafter, the noise, the gunfire, I just walked towards it and reacted,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez, a 17-year veteran, was able to stop the gunman before anyone else was hurt.
“He was able to engage the subject, shoot the subject in the torso area, neutralizing the threat,” said Alvaro Zabaleta of Miami-Dade Police.
Police later identified the gunman as 64-year-old Roderick Oliver Veazey. He now faces charges of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm after, police said, he fired at least two shots in the library.
“People here are vulnerable,” said Alfredo Ramirez of Miami-Dade Police. “They reading, they’re thinking, they’re meeting, and for someone to come in with a gun and introduce that into a place like this is an insult to society, and it shows the value of our officers and our security personnel. They took action.”
Both Knighton and Rodriguez were honored during a ceremony at the library, Wednesday. However, they just said they were doing their job.
However, Knighton said that she is now ready to hang up her uniform for retirement, having spent 29 years on the job.
Miami-Dade Police said if it weren’t for the bravery of both Rodriguez and Knighton, the situation would have ended up a lot worse.