Police announced last week they arrested a 25-year-old man they believe is involved in a series of shooting deaths that target homeless people.
On Thursday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and interim Police Chief Manuel Morales said in a press conference they took Willy Suarez Maceo into custody following a string of shootings.
The events leading up to Suarez’s arrest reportedly began Dec. 21 at approximately 8 p.m. Morales said a witness flagged down a Miami Police Department officer who was on patrol around the 400 block of West 2nd Avenue. The officer reportedly located a victim suffering from what looked like blunt-force trauma to the head but later determined it was a gunshot wound.
That victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in “extreme critical condition.”
About two hours later, Miami Police received a call from a witness who said they saw a person unresponsive on the ground at Miami Avenue and 21st Street. Police arrived and found the victim, a Black male, dead with an apparent gunshot wound.
Morales said investigators linked the two shootings because of their close time span and because both victims were homeless.
He said, “Physical evidence on the scene of both crimes quickly were matched by our ballistics experts, and we were able to identify a vehicle and a person of interest.”
Investigators reportedly located surveillance footage at the second crime scene that shows a “black vehicle had driven up to the location where the victim was laying down on the ground and shot at him several times.”
Ballistics at the two crime scenes reportedly matched as well.
Miami Police identified the black car and Maceo as a person of interest. Tactical units reportedly made contact with Maceo, who allegedly had a firearm in his possession that matched the ones suspected in the crimes.
Morales added, “One of the lead investigators noticed a resemblance that the suspect of this incident had to a crime that took place where another homeless individual was horrifically murdered.”
Maceo was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.
Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation records show he is being held without bond.
WPLG-TV reports Maceo’s public defender argued in court, “Mr. Maceo is never seen carrying out the shooting.”
Circuit Court Judge Alberto Milian reportedly said while denying bond, “If he’s guilty of these crimes and they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, he has a very, very peculiar pattern of finding unprotected individuals in the streets that are not even awake and going up to them. It appears to be an execution-style for reasons that are unknown.”
Maceo’s information is no longer listed on the real estate company’s website.