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Two Men Charged In Shooting Of Detective

Two Men Charged In Shooting Of Detective

Miami Herald via YellowBrix

July 29, 2011

MIAMI – When two gunmen tried to rob a New York City detective vacationing in Miami Beach last weekend, he fought back hard.

The veteran of 27 years on the force opened fire, wounding both attackers who accosted him and also shot him in the courtyard of a hotel on Collins Avenue.

Those details of the events during Saturday’s attempted hold-up of Det. Harold Thomas, 48, were revealed for the first time Thursday as police announced the suspects’ arrest — and how Thomas’ quick actions helped solve the case.

Thomas’ family flew down from New York and was present at the news conference while Thomas remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital recovering from a gunshot wounds to the thigh that damaged his femoral artery.

“Twenty-seven years on the force and you come out on vacation and something tragic like this happens,” said one of Thomas’ two sons, Brandon, 23.

Arrested were Francisco Henriquez, 35, who is charged with attempted felony murder and is being held in a Miami-Dade County Jail, and Mustafa Lee, 28, who is also charged with attempted felony murder and is being held in a Broward County Jail medical ward.

One of the wounded gunmen sought medical care in Broward County hours after the attack, raising suspicions that led to the duo’s arrest.

Police said Thomas had been in town vacationing with two other NYPD detectives, one of whom had a wife celebrating a birthday. The group spent Friday evening at Mansions. Early Saturday, Thomas escorted the group to another hotel blocks from where he was staying at the 1233 Lofts.

According to the report, as he returned to his boutique hotel and walked through a courtyard to his room, the men followed him and tried to rob him.

Thomas ran a few feet and hid behind a nearby tree and drew his firearm, exchanging shots with the men before they fled wounded and empty handed, police said.

Responding Miami Beach officers found Thomas “bleeding profusely on the floor and…unconscious.”

“They [the suspects] left Det. Thomas as dead on the ground,” said Miami Beach police spokeswoman Det. Vivian Hernandez

Later that day, while Miami Beach police were still at the scene of the shooting, a break in the investigation came. A Plantation police officer called to say a suspicious gunshot victim had arrived at the Plantation Hospital around 9 or 10 a.m. seeking treatment and was scheduled to be transferred to Broward General Hospital.

The victim turned out to be Lee, who was later identified by Thomas in a photo line-up. Lee had been wounded in the leg and lower extremities.

Henriquez was grazed in the ribs and DNA evidence left at the scene helped to identify him, Hernandez said.

Henriquez and Lee have extensive criminal histories, and the former was on probation, police said.

Henriquez has had a slew of felony arrests dating back to 1997, including a second-degree felony involving a homicide. His latest was a 2010 armed robbery.

Lee has similarly had a range of felonies. He was charged with strong-arm robbery in 1999 and aggravated assault with a firearm in 2004.

Thomas is now conscious and will be receiving skin graft surgery at a later date. The two other NYPD officers whom he was with have returned home.

His family says they’re thankful the tough detective survived.

“He’s the backbone of our family,’’ Brandon Thomas, 23, said. “He’s everything to us.”


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gishguy76

    10 months ago

    6 Comments

    Just go's to show you We should always keep a weapon nearby. Very glad Miami PD did a good job in following up there investigation and those jerks are in jail where they belong.

  • shadow_officer

    over 1 year ago

    8572 Comments

    Awesome job to the detective. Guess that means dont screw with the Police.....

  • Ralphie_max50

    rafaelmorales

    over 2 years ago

    2994 Comments

    I know the Det. very well and thank god he is well, He is well known within the Dept. even though the NYPD sent the RAT SQUAD down to Miami and tried to speak to him and get Blood. I have too say THANK YOU to MIAMI PD and the Det.Squad for not letting this happen, The sent the IAD RATS on there way. And to answer (ESU), No the Det. did not get in trouble for carrying his firearm because we are allowed to carry it within the US (Thank God ). NYPD higher up actully made it a L.O.D. Once again Thank You to MIAMI PD AND THERE GREAT DETECTIVES . FOR A GREAT JOB DONE.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50

    rhood

    almost 3 years ago

    23592 Comments

    Great job by the officer, best wishes for a full recovery to him.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MACK2014

    almost 3 years ago

    168 Comments

    WHILE ON VACATION VISITING FAMILY A FEW YEARS AGO.....I WAS APPROACHED BY SEVERAL PERPS THAT WERE "INTERESTED" IN MY GRAND CHEROKEE ( I WAS SHOWING MY WIFE MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD ) AS A 20 + YR VETERAN, I KNEW I HAD TO BRING MY PISTOL WITH ME (EVEN THOUGH MY FAMILY TOLD ME THAT I WAS PARANOID ) BOTTOM LINE : I RAISED UP MY SHIRT AND DISPLAYED MY BADGE AND SIDEARM.....THEY SCATTERED LIKE RATS . HEY GUYS ...."BE SMART ",,,,, "BE SAFE "........

  • Esu_patch_max50

    esu

    almost 3 years ago

    498 Comments

    Multiple surgeries, stops an armed robbery, shoots 2 perps in a fight for his life both during the robbery and in the surgeries afterward so how does the NYPD treat this hero, they send IAB officers down to MIami. Just what this guy needs when he wakes up from surgery is IAB in his room waiting to talk to him. I wouldnt doubt he gets disciplined for bringing a firearm out of state. I wonder if they breath a lyzed him which is standard procedure here. I guess too late for that but I wouldnt doubt they subpoeaned his blood test results to see what his BAC was. Wonderful way we treat heros. Great job Det, way to stay tough, speedy recovery to you!

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    almost 3 years ago

    3806 Comments

    Good job Detective.. Kind of ironic that NYC doesn't recognize HR-218...Thank God Florida does

  • Monday_march_3_police_blotter_max50

    fraustr1

    almost 3 years ago

    532 Comments

    Great job Det...My prayers are with you and your loved ones.

  • 21_max50

    philfroggy

    almost 3 years ago

    1564 Comments

    Great work and get well soon

  • Ocp-me_max50

    sigmachimarine

    almost 3 years ago

    300 Comments

    This is a GREAT case for the scholastic community to use in the fight for our 2A rights! This good visitor of Florida was lucky enough to be lawfully armed in their state! Win for the gun rights activist! I'm hoping that the laws of Florida allow citizens/residents/visitors to shoot two armed punks, as in this case, and not be convicted on a criminal, or civil level. I pray for your speedy recover, sir, and that the courts of Florida will take care of you!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ImDaChief

    almost 3 years ago

    94 Comments

    Wishing you back to good health soon! My only regret, is that the two useless humans were not killed, DRT.

  • Justified_max50

    Dewrah

    almost 3 years ago

    270 Comments

    On duty and off duty, a cop is a cop. Good Shoot.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 3 years ago

    Praying for a speedy recovery for Det. Thomas! Excellent job! Goes to prove that you always have to be on your guard on or off-duty.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rsironron

    almost 3 years ago

    5220 Comments

    I pray for a speedy recovery for the Det. and as the commerical says I never leave home without it.

  • Parkview_01_003_max600_max50

    AFlemingJr

    almost 3 years ago

    48 Comments

    Yes...always safe to have it and not need it versus the opposite.

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