Authorities were searching for three men who robbed and shot an off-duty Miami-Dade Police officer on Saturday evening in northwest Miami-Dade, police said.
Just hours after being shot in the chest area, the officer, who has not been identified, was listed in stable condition. He was talking, alert and in good spirits, police spokeswoman Rosanna Cordero-Stutz said during a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The shooting occurred near Union Baptist Church, located at 6701 NW 7th Ave., where the off-duty officer had been volunteering.
“It was a police officer that this occurred to, but of course it could have been anyone who was doing work at their local church when this occurred to them,” Cordero-Stutz said.
Authorities said three men approached him as he walked over to his car.
He was robbed of jewelry and one of the suspects shot him in the chest area with a semi-automatic pistol, Cordero-Stutz said.
"They demanded property from him, they took property from him, and then they shot him," Cordero-Stutz said.
The injured officer was able to call 911 and was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital by the responding officer, who made a split second decision to take him in his patrol car, she said.
The injured officer has been employed by the police department for more than six years, she said. The officer is in his 30s, married and often volunteers at the church.
Police established a perimeter around the area. They believe the men fled in a 2007 or 2008 red Pontiac G6. The men are between the ages of 17 and 20. Two had short hair and one with dreadlocks.
Stay with NBC 6 for updates.