A two-year-old video released by the Miami-Dade Police Department shows a police officer being repeatedly stabbed at a gas station by a suspect before the officer shot and killed him.
[Warning: Graphic Video]
The suspect, Dominique Jean, raised the lid of a gas storage tank at a Shell station near Miami International Airport; police asserted he was attempting to light the gas on fire.
When officer Mario Gutierrez raced over to intercede, Jean stabbed him repeatedly, triggering the officer to shoot Jean, killing him.
Gutierrez recalled, “He attacked me. He attacked me with a large knife and a screwdriver… It was a very vicious fight. I shut the pumps off, and my intention was to arrest him, take him to jail. So I was gonna tase him, put him in handcuffs, call for fire.”
Gutierrez finally saw the video after its release. He said, “What I noticed right away was 80 percent of that video, I don’t remember. I was doing things there that, to this day, I have no recollection of.”
What Gutierrez did remember was what gave him the strength to keep fighting: “The determination to see my family. That to me was the most important thing. I did not want to die and never see them again.”
Gutierrez, married with three children, has undergone numerous surgeries since the incident; he still suffers from nightmares. He received the Congressional Badge of Bravery, a Presidential Citation, and the Officer of the Year award.
But he’s still on the job; he said, “I’m going to finish my career and then spend my retirement with my family and enjoy that and be in peace until the day I leave this Earth.” He added, “Without policemen, what are you going to have? Chaos. You know, we have anarchy, so cops make that difference. We’re that, what they call, that thin blue line.”