The US Customs and Border Protection officer accidentally shot and killed during a training exercise at a Miami-Dade gun range was remembered by his heartbroken wife as a “great husband” who always helped others.
The officer, identified as 40-year-old Jorge Arias, was shot Wednesday morning during a demonstration by a fellow officer and later died at the hospital as more details about the tragic incident came to light Thursday.
“He was a great guy, a great husband. He was my soulmate and my person.” Ana Maria Arias told NBC 6 South Florida, stressing he was proud of his law enforcement career.
Arias, a nine-year veteran of the agency, was a firearms instructor and was assigned to Miami International Airport, according to local reports.
The officer who shot Arias accidentally replaced his training pistol with his handgun that has live rounds, multiple law enforcement sources told the Miami Herald, though it is unclear how that happened.
The shooting occurred during a role-playing scenario when one of them was attempting to subdue a bad guy, the sources told the newspaper.
Authorities said Thursday a second officer was involved in the incident, but did not give more details about the shooting, the Herald reported.
Arias was shot in the chest during building search training, according to Local 10 News, citing sources.
Ana Mary Arias said she met her husband in 2013, which was the same year he joined Customs and Border Protection, according to Local 10 News. He was also a US Coast Guard reservist, she said.
“He was always there to help everybody who needed it,” Ana Mary Arias told the news station.
“Everybody who needed it, family or not, and he was big on his family of law enforcement.
“He came from a small family and he always told me that he was part of a big family. It is his law enforcement family.”