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Security Guard Arrested, Charged With Murder In Club Lexx Shooting

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Security guard Lukace Kendle, 26, is accused of fatally shooting a clubgoer and critically injuring another on June 1 outside Club Lexx in Miami. (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Security guard Lukace Kendle, 26, is accused of fatally shooting a clubgoer and critically injuring another on June 1 outside Club Lexx in Miami. (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just hours after the family of a man shot dead by a security guard at a Miami Gardens night club made a plea for his arrest he was taken into custody pn a warrant issued by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, charged with second degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting of another suspect.

The charges were issued against security guard Lukace Kendle, who claimed he was threatened by 31 year old Michael Smathers and 29 year old Kijuan Byrd while he was working as a security guard at Club Lexx on NW 27th Avenue and the two men were patrons of the club.

The Miami-Dade Homicide Bureau said police responded to a 911 call just before 11 p.m. on June 1st. They found the two men with gunshot wounds, and both were taken to Ryder Trauma Center.

Smathers survived and is recovering, but Byrd died of his injuries.

Kendle was not charged by police in the shooting, and reports that he would make a claim that the shootings were justified under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law brought an angry response from Byrd’s parents.

Byrd graduated from Miami Norland High School in 2001 where he played on the football team. His family says he worked as an electrician and leaves behind two children.

Monday, they joined Attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represents the family of Trayvon Williams, in demanding Kendle be charged.

“It’s senseless, I don’t understand why and I don’t know what I’m going to tell my grand babies when they say Grandma where’s my Daddy?” said Kijuan Bird’s mother Arlene Byrd.

The family says Byrd and Smathers were getting out of a car in the parking lot when the fatal shooting happened.  They also say neither knew the guard, and neither man was armed.

“It’s very sad to know the shooter is being protected by the stand your ground law and that’s not right,” said Byrd’s Grandfather, Conley Johnson.

“How many more of these stand your ground claims have to happen with these outrageous facts and nobody arrested,” Crump asked.

While the attorney and the parents were meeting with reporters, the arrest warrant was issued for Kendle. Police found his location and arrested him without incident.

Investigators offered nothing more about the delay or why a decision was made to arrest Kendle today while Byrd’s parents were facing reporters.

It is expected any effort to use the Stand Your Ground law will come before a judge, who can make a determination under Florida law.

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