Investigation continues in death of Miami cop
Girlfriend says officer pulled trigger himself as the two tussled over his service pistol
By Mike Clary
MIAMI — The girlfriend of a Miami police officer shot dead in the Pembroke Pines home they shared said Carl Patrick pulled the trigger himself as the two tussled over his service pistol.
"I did my best to hold on and struggle with him," Tiniko Thompson, 45, said in an interview with WTVJ-Ch. 6. "He fell, he slipped, and we're still tussling with the gun...and it went 'pow.' That's it."
Patrick, 52, a Miami cop for 25 years, was found dead in the Rainbow Lakes community home on Friday, two days after Thompson said he was killed.
Thompson, a city of Miami public service aide, said she did not call police because she panicked, according to her attorney, Rod Vereen. Instead, Vereen said in the interview, she changed out of her nightgown, washed off blood and then "drove around for the next 48 hours." She slept in her car, Vereen said.
"People say, 'She didn't call 911,'" said Vereen. "No, she didn't. By her own admission, she thought about the fact that an officer is dead, and she calls 911 and there'd be all-out BOLO for her and she could get killed."
Police have not named Thompson as a suspect.
In response to the broadcast of the interview, Pembroke Pines police late Monday afternoon issued a news release confirming that Thompson "was the live-in girlfriend of Mr. Patrick."
"As a result of her recent statements to the media, Detectives from the Pembroke Pines Police Department would like the opportunity to speak with her regarding this incident, and will continue to reach out to her and her attorney," police said in the release.
Patrick's body was discovered when police went to check on him after he failed to show up for work for two days, according to Pembroke Pines police.
Police ruled the death a homicide.
Thompson said the shooting took place Wednesday afternoon as Patrick, in uniform and about to leave for work, pulled his gun on her.
"He was hitting me, grabbing me, scratching me...and I kept holding onto the gun because at that time I probably could have got shot," she said.
Thompson said she decided to speak out because her name had been made public Saturday by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. "I've been unfairly portrayed," she said.
During the interview Thompson showed a cut on her chin and bruises near her eye and on her arm that she said were inflicted by Patrick during last week's altercation. She said she had been abused regularly by Patrick since moving in with him last fall.
In an impromtu news conference outside Thompson's home in Opa-locka, Vereen told reporters, "She defended herself and, at the end of the day, she did not pull the trigger on that firearm. He pulled the trigger himself."
Vereen said police "took photographs of injuries [Thompson] suffered at the hands of Mr. Patrick." Police also took possession of her vehicle, he said.
For the fourth consecutive day, investigators on Monday were back at the scene of the shooting, Patrick's home in the the 2100 block of Northwest 93rd Avenue in Pembroke Pines.
In Miami, Patrick was remembered Monday with a moment of silence during a graduation ceremony for 25 new police officers. At the ceremony was the police honor guard in which Patrick served.
"He was very humble, and respected by all his peers," said Miami officer Frederica Burden. "He was just someone that everyone loved to work with."
The officer's family was making arrangements for funeral services, expected to be Saturday in Miami.
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service