A Florida man entered a grocery store in the Little Havana section of Miami last Wednesday, pulled out a sword, and began to threaten other customers.
43-year-old Hector Rivaflecha Hechavarria was carrying the sword when he walked into the Presidente Supermarket at around 9:45 p.m. and announced that he was going to kill everybody.
Within seconds, he attacked 32-year-old customer Ninoska Aranglubel and cut her elbow with the blade.
When 47-year-old store security guard Jose Antonio Mendoza rushed to the scene, he warned Hechavarria to drop his weapon.
Hechavarria didn’t obey; Mendoza then fired several shots, striking Hechavarria.
However, the fight wasn’t over. Hechavarria struck Mendoza over the head, and, after he again refused to surrender his weapon, Mendoza again fired shots.
It wasn’t until another man came to Mendoza’s aid that Hechavarria was subdued. Police arrived soon thereafter, and Hechavrria was transported to a hospital.
The attacker, who has a previous criminal history, is reported to be in critical condition.
“He must be crazy or drunk or something,” said longtime customer Mercedes Lopez of the attacker’s bizarre and dangerous behavior.
Mendoza and Aranglubel were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries sustained during the incident.
Customers and residents of the area have expressed shock about the attack.
“Everyone knows each other, the people who work in the meat, the dairy, the cashiers. So it’s kind of a neighborhood atmosphere,” said customer Mike Rodriguez.
Mendoza has been called a hero for taking action and protecting the lives of those present in the supermarket that night.
“He was doing his job and he did it well,” said customer Andreas Fernandez.
Officer Kenia Reyes of the Miami Police Department has also praised Mendoza’s actions. “He put his life in danger,” she said. “As a matter of fact, he got struck over the head by this armed man and still he managed to grab his gun, ask him to drop the weapon but he refused and he was forced to fire.”
If Hechavarria survives, he will face charges for premeditated attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
Photo source: www.firearmstalk.com