MIAMI (CBS4) — A Miami man is behind bars after a father is gunned down at a bus stop and police are crediting the gunman’s mother for leading them to her son.
Zackary Joshua McGriff,21, appeared in bond court Friday afternoon wearing a protective vest reserved for those on suicide watch.
He is accused of taking the life of 36-year-old Juan Augustine Lorenzo-Gonzalez—a father of three children.
McGriff had nothing to say he was held without bond and charged with first degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and using a firearm.
The victim’s brother is thanking Miami Police for their work and the witnesses who helped them.
“I thank the police and the community and I am grateful to the police for taking care of this,” said Angel Lorenzo. Lorenzo told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “My brother was a very kind person. He was a loving person. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
It happened around 5:30 Wednesday evening as Lorenzo-Gonzalez sat on a bench waiting for a bus on Northwest 36th Street near Northwest 15th Avenue. Police say McGriff casually approached Lorenzo-Gonzalez as he was sitting on a bunch with a few bags of groceries and shot him once in the head. Witnesses say two or three shots were fired. Lorenzo-Gonzalez staggered on to Northwest 36th Street and collapsed.
CBS4 obtained surveillance tape from a nearby business that shows a young man wearing a white shirt who was skipping north on Northwest 15th Avenue. It’s not known if McGriff was the person captured on that tape. But Police say a witness followed him to where he fled and called police.
Police say McGriff lived with his mother in a home on the corner of Northwest 12th Avenue and Northwest 55th Street.
Detectives say his mother turned over the gun used in the crime and told detectives that her son gave it to her. They also said she said her son told her he was going to the Jackson Memorial Hospital crisis center to commit himself. Police say that’s where he was arrested, wearing the same clothing he was in during the crime.
“Now it must be hard for a mother to turn over her own child or lead us to an arrest of that child,” said Miami Police Sgt. Freddie Cruz. “However it is the right thing to do. We know that a young man lost his life. We needed the community to come together and they did and police worked around the clock. We have a young man, a father, who lost his life and we needed to get the message out and the community came together.”
Police are continuing to study the surveillance tape from a nearby business and are also looking at surveillance video from a pawn shop that is located right next to the bus stop. The manager of that shop told D’Oench that he could not say why police were looking at that tape and could not say if McGriff had been inside his store looking for a weapon.
Sgt. Cruz told D’Oench that it was not known why Lorenzo-Gonzalez was shot.
“It’s still unknown exactly why this happened,” he said. “Detectives are still working this out as to why it happened. We are lucky we took this individual off the street and justice will be done.”
Bus passenger Jose Vega said he was grateful that an arrest had been made.
“This was a messed up situation,” he said. “More parents should do that and come forward. Definitely. Definitely. It was good on her part. It was also good that the city worked so fast. The police were really fast and they made this happen.”
A check of records showed that McGriff had been arrested once before. Records show he was arrested last year for domestic violence.