Police Unravel Hialeah Man’s Tale, Charge Him With Hate Crime
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Hialeah man, found bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head after he crashed his pick up truck into a funeral home, will be headed to jail as soon as he’s released from Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Hialeah police arrested and charged 50-year-old Luis Gonzalez on Tuesday with two counts of 2nd degree Attempted Murder-with prejudice with an enhanced Hate Crime classification.
“The irony of this case is that the alleged victim actually turns out to become the defendant,” Mark Overton with the Hialeah Police Chief said. “We hope that this serves as a clear message that this will never be tolerated in Hialeah.”
The shooting happened around 5 p.m. on January 2nd. When Hialeah police arrived at the funeral home in the 4800 block of Palm Avenue, they found Gonzalez sitting in his truck bleeding profusely from a single gunshot wound to his head.
Gonzalez told police that he had been robbed by two men in the parking lot outside Jerry and Joe’s Pizza, located at 4799 Palm Ave. He said when he then jumped in his truck and drove towards the men, one of them pulled a gun and shot at him.
Through witness accounts and leads, they were able to determine the two men Gonzalez said robbed and shot him were 20-year-old Andy Alexander Jr. and 21-year-old Tarvis James.
Police said both Alexander and James cooperated fully with investigators, but told a very different story than the one Gonzalez had told.
According to them, they were walking in the street near Jerry and Joe’s Pizza, when Gonzalez started shouting racial slurs and telling them to leave his city. They said at one point Gonzalez revved the engine of his truck and drove at them at a high rate of speed.
Alexander and James stated that in fear for their lives they ran for their lives. James, who was carrying a .25 cal pistol, was able to shoot at Gonzalez three times, striking him once on the side of the head, according to police.
As Hialeah detective dug deeper they were able to determine that Gonzalez had indeed lied to investigators and was not the victim of a robbery, but instead the aggressor.
James said, “Justice was served.”
Police said Gonzalez finally admitted that there had never been a robbery.
As for why he did it, Gonzalez said he was a crime victim during the 1980 “McDuffie Riots” and “has held resentment for black people ever since.”
James said he’s grateful that police were able to find the truth behind the story.
“I just want to tell Hialeah police thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I thank you for that.”
James said, “I thought I was going to die. That’s it.”
James also had some words for Gonzalez.
“I just hope you can keep an open mind and I know that this is important for all of us to do the same,” James said. “It’s also to say that I hope that God has touched his heart.”
Hate crime enhances attempted murder charges with a maximum of 40 years behind bars. No charges will be filed against James and Alexander.
James said he carried a gun for protection.