Crime

Cops: Driver shot by police after trying to run over officer at South Florida mall

A driver in an Aventura Mall parking garage was shot and wounded by an officer Wednesday afternoon after he refused to pull over and then accelerated toward the officer, police said.

The officer fired a shot, or shots, hitting the suspect on the second floor of the garage near Bloomingdale’s department store. The driver, who had a female passenger, was in a stolen burgundy, four-door Honda, said Sgt. Chris Goranitis.

Police are working a shooting at the Aventura Mall.Police are working a shooting at the Aventura Mall.The incident happened about 12:20 p.m. when the Aventura officer, who was not identified, attempted to walk to the car on a traffic stop. The driver accelerated, aiming the car toward the officer, Goranitis said.

“This person drove in a reckless manner with no regard for anyone around him,” Goranitis said.

After the driver was shot by the officer, he continued going, striking a parked police car, a private car and a wall in the garage, Goranitis said.

He suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to the hospital in custody.

The mall is at Northeast 195th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, but the garage is on the back side of the property, hugging West Country Club Drive across from the Turnberry golf course.

Police sealed off the garage to investigate, but the mall itself stayed open for business and customers are walking in and out as usual.

“Nobody is in danger. There is no one at large. This was an isolated incident,” Goranitis said.

In January, a similar drama played out at a strip shopping center north of the mall. AT the center, which is anchored by a Target and Whole Foods Market, two Aventura police officers fired several rounds into a car after the driver used the car to threaten an officer’s life. The driver took off, but was arrested later in the day in Broward County.

In past years, the Aventura Mall has been the site of several shootings.

In 2009, one person was wounded in a police-involved shooting in a parking garage near JC Penney. In 2008, a man opened fire on a woman in another mall parking lot, wounding the woman before killing himself.

In 1999, a love triangle turned deadly in a murder-suicide in front of the mall Starbucks.

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