|Cop saves cop after turnpike shooting|
|Written by APB Staff|
Petitfrere was hailed as a hero during a news conference at the Broward Sheriff's Office.
“I was just doing what any other law enforcement officer would have done,’’ Petitfrere, 32, said as he stood before a bank of TV cameras gathered at Broward’s Public Safety Building.
He credited his police training and 12 years of military service, including three tours of duty in Iraq for his action saving Nelia Real, a Key Biscayne police officer who had been shot in the face and neck after stopping on the turnpike to help at a car accident.
Real was commuting home in her squad car during evening rush hour when she was shot by David Edwin Bradley, 23, of Miami Gardens, according to the FBI.
Bradley had just committed two carjackings and an armed robbery before he shot Officer Real. Bradley went on to shoot Gabriel Martinez, an assistant field office director for U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement who also was commuting home.
Martinez had heard Bradley’s gunfire and gotten out of his car to put on his bulletproof vest in preparation to confront the gunman, according to Marc Moore, Miami field office director for ICE.
But Bradley shot Martinez in the left arm through the windshield, as he prepared to engage the gunman.
After shooting Martinez Bradley ran for a while before turning the gun on himself.
Bradley’s shooting rampage occurred during a shift change with lots of cops commuting to and from work on the road.
BSO Sgt. Herb Granado and Deputy Giovani Zamora heard the call for help. Both were on the turnpike in separate cruisers. Granado and Zamora chased Bradley as he walked through traffic brandishing a handgun. They mentioned a Sweetwater officer who helped chase down Bradley before he finally turned the gun on himself.
Also injured in the incident was Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Enid Conley, who broke her leg in a car accident while responding to the scene.
The three wounded officers were taken to Hollywood’s Memorial Regional Hospital.
Conley, 23, has been released from the hospital.
Martinez also is out of the hospital and says he can’t wait to get back to work.
Real, 54, remains hospitalized but her prognosis is very good, said Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press.
“She is making a miraculous recovery,’’ he said. “Although initially appearing extremely severe … she is doing much better and is on a long road but a sure road to recovery.’’
Petitfrere wasn’t interested in talking about what a hero he is. He wanted to talk about the bravery of his fellow officers. She kept him calm and helped save her own life by fighting through the pain in order to keep pressure on the GSW to stem the bleeding.
“She told me she couldn’t wait for the ambulance,’’ Petitfrere said. “She didn’t say it, but I knew that’s what she was trying to say.’’
Reporters tried again to get Petitfrere to tell them what it felt like to be a hero.
“I lost friends in Iraq,’’ he said. “To me, they’re the heroes. Those that are not here anymore, those are the heroes in my eyes.
After more prodding from the press Petitfrere gave up.
“I did a great job, I guess.’’