MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami police said Thursday that they had made an arrest in a nearly year-old case in which two men were gunned down following a fight at a Hialeah strip club.
Police said thanks to an anonymous tip they were able to track down 25-year-old Jose Adonis Martinez who now faces two counts of first-degree murder.
Last year, family members of the two victims — Franco Rodriguez, 39, and 32-year-old Manuel Suarez – made a public plea asking for help tracking down the killer.
On the morning on November 22nd, 2009, police say Rodriguez and Suarez were at a strip club known as PT’s Show Club, located off the Palmetto Expressway near Northwest 103rd Street.
Family members at the time said Rodriguez and Suarez had gone to the club and at some point had gotten into a fight with another man or group of men.
For Rodriguez’s sister, Maggie Torres, her only hope of finding a killer was to go on camera and plea for help.
“Come forward because these monsters have destroyed our lives,” Maggie Torres told a group of assembled reporters at the Miami Police Department’s headquarters. “We’re in our 30s, and we planned a funeral for our loved one, so young, and we’re planning a funeral. He didn’t deserve this.”
His wife Michelle Rodriguez sobbed violently as Maggie addressed the media.
Police say they are looking for a person of interest who goes by the name of “Big Baby.”
Police said the pair left the club the morning at 5:30 a.m. Around 6:30 a.m. a blue Chevrolet Malibu, pulled up to Rodriguez’s SUV at the intersection of Northeast 1st Avenue and 10th Street. Someone in the Malibu fired several shots into the SUV and sped off.
Police believe the pair might have been followed after they left the club.
Rodriguez, a father of five, was killed. Suarez was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition; he later died of his injuries.
“My brother was awesome, a great father of five children. This is really rough. He was a great man. They were just out for a good time. In the worst way, it’s a sad situation. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would just like to see justice served,” said Rodriguez’s brother, Herman Torres.
One witness who identified himself as “Demetrius” said he was having breakfast at a shelter when he heard the shots that were fired. “It was early this morning. All of us heard it.”