A North Miami Beach Police sergeant was involved in a shootout early Thursday morning after he came across two groups of people shooting at each other from their cars, officials said.
The sergeant was patrolling in the area of 163rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard when he heard gunshots shortly after 2:40 a.m., North Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Rand said.
Rand said the sergeant spotted the occupants of two cars, a white BMW and a black Dodge Charger, who were shooting at each other in what he called a "running gun fight."
The sergeant tried to stop one of the cars and the occupants started shooting at the officer, who returned fire, Rand said.
Both cars fled the area but the BMW was found a short time later with four people inside suffering from gunshot wounds or bullet grazes, Rand said. All four were taken to a local hospital but were expected to be okay, Rand said.
The sergeant, who has been with the department for over six years, wasn't injured, Rand said.
"This is another stark reminder for the community that our police officers are out here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, protecting us and they're being shot at," Rand said. "Thank God, as the Chief of Police of North Miami Beach, I don't have an injured officer, I'm very fortunate."
Rand said there were bullet casings on streets stretching for several blocks, and a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard was shut down for several hours while the incident was investigated.
Police are asking for the public's help in finding the second vehicle involved. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
The shootout is the third shooting incident involving a South Florida officer in the past two weeks. Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino was killed during a confrontation with a suspect on October 17th, while two Doral Police officers were shot in an incident on October 22nd.
"We cannot have people riding around on the streets of Miami-Dade County shooting at police officers, enough is enough," Rand said.
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