HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – A dispute between a landlord and a tenant turned deadly in Hialeah.
Hialeah police said the two men were arguing about an eviction notice in front of a home at 5761 West 10th Avenue Thursday morning around 2 a.m.
“We know that the tenant was rightfully evicted yesterday by Miami-Dade County. He returned earlier this morning and confronted the homeowner,” said Hialeah police spokesman Eddie Rodriguez.
The tenant had a baseball bat and the landlord was armed with a gun. As the argument grew more heated the landlord reportedly shot the other man in the chest, killing him.
When officers arrived they found the body of a man on the front lawn and some his belongings strewn about that had been thrown out as part of the eviction.
Police collected the gun and bat as evidence.
Sgt. Rodriguez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that police were trying to determine if this was a case of self defense.
“If there are any witnesses who saw what happened and if camera captured this event, it is self defense as long as long as you were standing ground and you were ok and as long as you were the one being attacked on your property. There too many factors to make a quick decision and ultimately the decision will be made by the State Attorney’s Office,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez identified the former tenant as 24-year-old Yasmany Puentes and the landlord as 40-year-old William Arteaga. He was questioned by police and allowed to leave the home 10 hours after the incident happened.
On Thursday afternoon, Puentes’s widow Lilly came to the scene to gather her husband’s possession including his motorcycle.
She told D’Oench, “All I can say is that my baby of two months is without a father.”
Cielo Ujueta heard the shot that was fired.
“It was one shot,” she told D’Oench. “It sounded like tires exploding. This was just one shot. This is very bad. This is a very quiet neighborhood. Nothing like this has happened here before. Now I am very very nervous.”
“It looks like a television show, looks like something you see on CSI,” said neighbor Charles Pollock.
People who live in the area said the landlord and his family have live in the home for several years.
“I’m really shocked,” said neighbor Michael Allen. “He doesn’t look like that type of guy, don’t seem like the type of person who would do something like that in this neighborhood.”
Detectives took the landlord into custody, questioned him about the shooting and released him. Investigators are waiting on a warrant to seize surveillance video from the home which may help detectives determine if the landlord acted in self-defense.