MIAMI (CBS4) – The owner of a Miami Gardens car wash died Sunday afternoon after he was gunned down while trying to stop a robbery.
The shooting happened around 1:30 p.m. at NW 191 St. and 1st Place, according to Miami Gardens’ police Capt. Ralph Suarez.
Errold Peart, 59, died at the car wash he owned for more than 20 years, said his son Dameion Peart. “My father was a good man,” Peart said. “He tended to help the community. Help the problem kids. Give them a second chance.”
Dawn Barrett, Peart’s lifetime companion and mother of their two children, wept as she pleaded Monday for the public’s help in finding his killers.
“Oh, my God, he’s all my life,” she said. “Oh, God have mercy. He was a good man who liked to help people.”
Peart and Barrett, high school sweethearts, had two children, 34-year-old Damion, a security guard, and 23-year-old Mishka, a first year medical student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Barrett said Peart acquired a handgun permit about a year ago after so many robberies had been committed at his business of more than ten years.
Damion, his son, said two armed robbers set upon a customer, demanding the man’s gold jewelry. Peart approached and from a distance ordered the thieves to stop. He displayed his own weapon.
The thugs fired two shots, according to the son, one of them entering and exiting Peart’s head. Peart fired one shot from his gun, it is thought reflexively.
Irony adds to Sundays tragedy. Peart would sometimes hire ex-offenders, trying to help them get back on the straight and narrow.
Barrett, the only life partner Peart had ever known said she doesn’t know what she will do now.
“He has to be buried,” she said, crying. I don’t know where to turn or what to do.”
Dozens of people gathered at the scene hours after the shooting Sunday.
Even Miami Gardens Police Officers knew the victim personally.
“He was a very nice gentleman, obviously by his acts,” Capt. Suarez said. “It’s unfortunate that he was shot.”
Miami Gardens Police are looking for two young men between 17 and 20-years-old. They are considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information should contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.