A BSO deputy who was shot in the head in 2007 by a convicted felon on parole has notified the state of his intent to file suit against the Department of Corrections: The felon who shot 29-year-old officer Maury Hernandez during a routine traffic stop owned a handgun that his probation officer knew he had possession of.
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Twenty-three-year-old David Maldonado, riding a motorcycle, had run three red lights on Pembroke Road in Hollywood when Hernandez pulled him over. Maldonado first told Hernandez he was a police officer from Opa-Locka, then pushed Hernandez, jumped from his bike, ran a few yards, and turned and shot twice from a .45 caliber handgun, hitting Hernandez in the head. Police apprehended Maldonado shortly afterward in a parking lot where they said he was attempting a carjacking.
The story got stranger when police showed up at Maldonado's house and found a room ringed with targets from a gun range where Maldonado had been practice shooting. The targets had bullet holes in a "tight pattern" on the head area, according to BSO. Maldonado was serving two years' probation for driving with a revoked license.
Hernandez's lawyer, Lance Block, says Maldonado had lied to his rookie parole officer, Daunte Foster, telling him he owned a gun because he'd taken a job as a security guard. "DOC policy is very clear," Block says. "Felons can't have guns, security job or not. It was a lie, and the probation officer never checked it out." The probation officer was eventually fired.
In October 2008, Maldonado was tried and found guilty of attempted murder of a police officer and sentenced to life in prison. After multiple surgeries and years of therapy, Hernandez has made a strong recovery.