A Miami police officer who shot and killed a man who was stabbing a woman over the weekend is being hailed a hero.
Officials say the rookie cop, 29-year-old Rafael Horda, had just gotten off his shift when he witnessed 34-year-old Relvy Rodriguez-Palenzuela stabbing the woman near Miami Lakes Middle School in the 15900 block of Northwest 64th Avenue just after 7:15 a.m. Sunday.
The victim, 27-year-old Yurien Rodriguez-Perez, was sitting in her car with Rodriguez-Palenzuela when an argument broke out. Friends said the two had been dating for about three or four months.
Friends said Rodriguez-Perez was stabbed in the abdomen. She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center and is expected to recover.
At a news conference Monday, Rodriguez-Perez's sister thanked Officer Horda for saving her sister.
"Thank you for saving my sister's life, you saved our whole family," Yudmila Rodriguez said.
Horda read a statement during Monday's news conference.
"I'd like to say that I'm proud to be a Miami police officer, I thank God for giving me the honor of serving my community," Horda said. "I pray that Ms. Rodriguez heals from her injuries."
According to Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, the attacker ignored the officer's commands to drop his weapon, forcing the officer to open fire, killing the man.
"There is no doubt in our minds that when the investigation is completed, this officer will be declared a hero. He did everything possible to save this woman," Ortiz said. "He was in the right place at the right time. He was on his way home off duty, when he observed a crime being committed. And if it weren't for the swift actions of this officer, there's no doubt in my mind we would have had a homicide, we would have had a victim tragically killed."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.