The Marlins' backup catcher was driving with his wife Thursday when he passed the Florida Turnpike gunman suspected of shooting two law enforcement officers. Hayes told the Miami Herald that he was driving on the Turnpike when traffic came to a sudden halt near the exit for Hollywood Boulevard.
Moments later, Hayes said, he noticed a man walking in the pouring rain alongside the concrete barrier in the center median. After a second glance, he saw that the man was carrying a gun.
"He and I made eye contact and he looked like he was up to no good," Hayes told the newspaper. "Something was very wrong. I just had a very bad feeling. My wife and I were in shock. I told her, 'Do not look at him.' He was walking like he was walking down the street.
"It was really creepy. But his face ... it was pretty scary, to be honest with you."
A little later, Hayes said he saw a police officer wearing a bulletproof vest come walking past them with his service weapon in his hand. Once traffic began moving again, Hayes felt comfortable enough to turn on the radio, and that's when he learned that two officers had been shot in the incident.
Further news reports have stated that both officers appear to be in good enough condition to survive. The gunman took his own life. As for Hayes, the whole incident was a little too much to bear.
"My wife and I said a big, long prayer for them," Hayes said of the injured police officers. "We heard later that they were going to be all right. What a blessing."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less