Officer shot outside alleged drug house speaks
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- The undercover officer shot during an investigation of a home suspected of holding a hydroponics lab is talking about surviving his near death experience.
John Saavedra was shot four times July 31 outside a home in Southwest Miami-Dade. He spoke about the ordeal at Miami-Dade Police Headquarters. He cannot show his face, because he is an undercover officer.
"My first reaction, the first thought, is that I'm possibly going to die," Saavedra said, "and my next thought is, I can't die, I got to pull through this."
He has been working with Miami-Dade Police Department for 10 years and works as an undercover narcotics agent. On July 31, police received information that someone had been using a home off Coral Way and 60th Court as a marijuana grow house.
When Saavedra arrived at the home, according to police, he was ambushed and shot. Two of the bullets pierced his stomach and one his leg. The other hit his bulletproof vest. "Criminals are very unpredictable," Saavedra noted, "and we learned on July 31st, how unpredictable they really are. I was facing a situation where I was doing my job, and for doing my job, I almost lost my life."
The gunman, Gerardo Delgado, police said, was hit by return fire and killed at the scene. When Saavedra was rushed to the hospital, he thought he would never see his three children again. "It's a very emotional conversation, to say the least," he said. "If I start talking about it, I'd probably start crying right here."
Saavedra has three children. His youngest child is 3 years old. He said he now has a new appreciation of life. "Every day that I wake up, every day that I go to sleep, every day, I thank God for allowing me to be there," he said. "I can't say that I will recover a hundred percent. I have scars that are daily reminders of what I went through. There's also other things with my body: my bladder was pierced several times, my small intestine was pierced, my leg, so all these things definitely take a toll on your body."
He still has a long road to recovery before he can return to work. But, Saavedra said, he looks forward to the day he can get back out there to the streets.
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