MIAMI
10/30/2013 09:28 am ET Updated Dec 30, 2013

Police Officer Stabbed Before Fatally Shooting Suspect At Gas Station Near Miami Airport

A veteran police officer was stabbed before fatally shooting a man during a violent confrontation Tuesday evening near Miami International Airport.

According to Miami-Dade Police, MDPD Officer Mario Gutierrez, 54, was on duty with the airport district when he approached a man acting suspiciously at a Shell gas station near Northwest 25th Street and LeJeune Road.

The suspect pulled out a knife and attacked, stabbing Gutierrez multiple times before Gutierrez fired his weapon, killing the man at the scene.

A gas station clerk told CBS that Gutierrez questioned the suspect when he saw him lifting a gas tank cover and stuffing paper into the opening.

One employee suggested to NBC6 that the man was trying to start a fire.

In addition to suffering multiple stab wounds, one of Gutierrez's thumbs was nearly bitten off in the ensuing attack, NBC6 reports.

According to WSVN, one witness said that Gutierrez first tried to use his Taser, but it didn't work.

"The individual that attacked him saw that he was a police officer," Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera told WSVN. "It was a very dangerous situation and he suffered multiple wounds, multiple stab wounds, defensive wounds and other type of wounds, and the officer was required to save his own life and he discharged his fire arm."

Fellow police officers transported Gutierrez to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, officials say. There he underwent surgery and has been upgraded to stable condition.

This story will be updated as further details are provided.