MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) — A Miami Beach maintenance man was killed, a Miami-Dade police officer injured when they went to serve an eviction notice at a South Beach complex.
It’s the first known murder in South Florida during an eviction in the current housing market collapse.
Miami-Dade police Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz said officers from their department were accompanied by the building’s maintenance man when they went to serve an eviction notice to a man living at 465 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach.
When the officer knocked on the door and announced the eviction, there was no answer. Cordero-Stutz said when the maintenance man went to change the locks, the owner of the unit threw open the door and fired severed shots, killing the locksmith.
Friends identified the worker as 60-year-old Alberto Gomez. They said he only recently started working at the condo building.
“He’s like my brother,” said Gomez’s friend Alberto Gomez. “I was his only family here in the United States.”
“It’s incredible, it’s like losing my father,” said Nancy Cortez. “That’s what he was for me, like my father.”
The officer, a 23-year veteran, then shot and wounded the armed man. He was taken to a hospital in serious condition. One of the officers was also taken to a hospital and treated for gun powder burns.
The suspect in the shooting is listed in serious condition, according to Lt. Rosanna Cordero of the Miami-Dade Police Department. Police haven’t released why the tenant was being evicted and remain on the scene of the shooting looking for clues.