MIAMI (WSVN) – Leaders across South Florida joined law enforcement agencies in paying their respects to a Miami-Dade Police officer who died days after being shot in the line of duty.
7News cameras captured the flags outside the South Florida Police Benevolent Association building flying at half-staff, Thursday afternoon, less than a day after MDPD Officer Cesar Echaverry succumbed to his injuries with his family by his side at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s never easy; this is a heart-wrenching situation,” said PBA President Steadman Stahl. “You have an officer who was leaving to go to work, gave his fiancée a kiss and said bye to Mom and Dad to go out and work a shift, and he doesn’t come home.”
Echaverry suffered multiple wounds in a shootout between police and an armed robbery suspect in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, Monday night.
The suspect was killed at the scene.
Fellow officers rushed Echaverry to Ryder Trauma Center. Many of his brothers and sisters in blue showed up, several of them angry and emotional.
Echaverry succumbed to his injuries Wednesday night. He was 29 years old.
Stahl praised the five-year veteran’s service to the community.
“He chose a profession that was a dangerous profession, and he chose it to give back to the community, to be part of the community,” he said. “He was the community. He was a son, a soon-to-be husband, and he chose this profession to give of himself.”
Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz also shared his condolences.
“This is a very hard time for all of us,” he said. “‘Echy’ is a hero. He’s a warrior, sentinel; he’s the greater essence of our community, service to others and protecting others, and he [gave] his life for us.”
Condolences were quick to come in Wednesday night after Echaverry’s passing.
MDPD Director Alfredo Ramirez shared the announcement on Twitter, writing, “Officer Echaverry died in the line of duty while serving & protecting our community. Our law enforcement family will continue to stand beside & support the Echaverry family through this difficult time. We’ll never forget Officer Echaverry’s bravery & sacrifice. Godspeed, brother.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also took to Twitter to pay her respects, writing in part, “Our county is safer because of his bravery — a sacrifice we will never forget.”
“To have a young man like that, 29 years old, stepping it up the way he did, they don’t get better than that,” said Diaz.
“He made a difference. He changed the world,” said Stahl.
Stahl said Echaverry’s family is in the process of making funeral arrangements.
MDPD officials said they are working on plans for the rendering of honors.
Starting Friday night, the Freedom Tower will be lit up in blue for a week in Echaverry’s honor.
Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.