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Distinguished Officer of the Month - July 2011

Detective Daniel Aiken

The Miami-Dade Police Department is pleased to announce that Detective Daniel Aiken has been awarded the Departmental Gold Medal of Valor and selected Distinguished Officer of the Month for July 2011. Detective Aiken has been a member of the Department since October 1996.

On the evening of Sunday, February 7, 2010, while off-duty in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Detective Aiken was travelling with his brother, Mr. Gary Cooper, to a family function at a private residence.  Upon arriving at the destination in his personally owned pick-up truck, Detective Aiken exited the driver's door and Mr. Cooper exited the front passenger door. Mr. Cooper was then instantaneously confronted by a male armed with an assault rifle, which he pointed at Mr. Cooper demanding his property.  Detective Aiken's view was obstructed by the vehicle, and was briefly unaware of the gunman's presence.  However, when Detective Aiken noticed Mr. Cooper's alarmed appearance, he then observed the gunman.

Finding himself under extreme duress in seeing Mr. Cooper's life in danger, Detective Aiken chose to distract the gunman's attention from Mr. Cooper by drawing his firearm, which caused the gunman to redirect his rifle at Detective Aiken.  Detective Aiken immediately identified himself as a police officer, which prompted the gunman to run away, still armed with the assault rifle.

Undaunted, Detective Aiken relentlessly attempted to apprehend the gunman and chased him while ordering him to stop and surrender. Mr. Cooper, also licensed to carry a firearm, was armed and proceeded to assist Detective Aiken.  Meanwhile, the gunman refused to comply, and during the foot pursuit, turned and fired the assault rifle at Detective Aiken and Mr. Cooper. They both exchanged gunfire with the gunman, who fled the area in an awaiting vehicle driven by an accomplice.

During the course of events, and in an effort to avoid being shot, Detective Aiken fell down to the ground and injured his foot.  Nevertheless, Detective Aiken and Mr. Cooper were able to provide police investigators with significant information that led to the identification and subsequent arrest of both the gunman and the driver of the getaway vehicle. Ultimately, the gunman was charged with attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder with a firearm, and attempted armed robbery. The accomplice was charged with accessory after the fact of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer and attempted armed robbery.

Even though Detective Aiken faced considerable peril and the possibility of losing a family member, he had the presence of mind to courageously act and confronted an armed violent felon.   His valiant actions epitomize sacrifice and a determination to protect the lives of others in the face of danger, reflecting positively upon the Department and the community we serve. 

Prepared by:
Sandra G. Kramer
Media Relations Bureau

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue May 29, 2012 11:29:48 AM

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