By David Ovalle and Charles Rabin
Source Miami Herald
Cesar Echaverry, the Miami-Dade police detective shot in the head on Monday night has been moved to a neurological intensive care unit and is in “extremely critical condition,” according to department-wide email sent to officers on Tuesday afternoon.
The email was the first official identification of Echaverry, the Robbery Intervention Detail unit detective gravely wounded during a confrontation with an armed robbery suspect on Monday night. The email was sent so that officers could donate to the Police Officers Assistance Trust, which will financially help his family.
“Please keep the Echaverry family in your thoughts and prayers,” read the email from Annette McCully, the executive assistant to the police director.
Barring a miracle, the young detective, just 29, was not expected to recover from a severe head wound that multiple law enforcement sources told the Herald had left him brain dead and hooked to medical machinery keeping him alive. At Jackson Memorial Hospital, where doctors continued to monitor his condition, sources said the officer’s grief-stricken parents remained at his bedside throughout the night,.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also sent an email to the department, thanking them for “putting your own lives on the line to ensure a safer Miami-Dade for all” and saying that “we pray for the officer, his family, and for our entire public safety community.” She did not name the officer.
Multiple law enforcement sources had named the officer on Monday but the Miami-Dade Police Department continued to decline to officially release his name and detail his career with the county’s largest law-enforcement agency. After the agency shared the fund-raising appeal with thousands of its employees on Tuesday, the Herald decided to name the officer as a matter of public interest — and so that members of the public can donate themselves to the Police Officer’s Assistance Trust fund.
For the last two years, Echaverry has been a member of RID, which is assigned to work in some of the county’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods, often tracking down fugitives or those wanted for major crimes.
Friends and law-enforcement sources described him as a young, rising officer who had planned to be married. If he does not survive, Echaverry would be the fourth Miami-Dade officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty since 2007.
Earlier in his career, Echaverry’s had survived another brush with death while on the job.
In March 2018, Echaverry was a rookie cop and in the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle being driven by a fellow officer, John Song. The police car rammed into a Nissan Altima driven by a Homestead man who was immediately killed. The police car’s computer showed Song was driving at 78 miles per hour one second before the crash. The crash happened in deep South Miami-Dade.
Song and Echaverry were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, but survived. In May, a jury acquitted Song of charges of vehicular homicide and reckless driving.
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