MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Two men taken into custody for questioning in the murder of a New York youth minister on Miami Beach over the weekend have been released.
The men were detained in Miami Tuesday afternoon after Miami Beach police announced that they had recovered a Jeep they believe was used in the murder of 30-year old Lavon Walker.
The Brooklyn native was shot early Sunday morning outside the News Cafe on Ocean Drive. He died at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Witnesses told police they saw a white Jeep with tinted windows speed away after the gunshots. Surveillance video shows a white Jeep zipping through the intersection at Collins Avenue and 8th Street, one block away from News Cafe, after the shooting.
The Jeep was found at a car rental business in northwest Miami-Dade. The owner of the business said he may have rented it out.
“We rented the car Friday to three guys from New York,” said Pedro Alvarez.
Alvarez said his employees noticed damage on the vehicle when it was returned.
“By coincidence when one of our employees saw the news this morning he figured out that he saw one bullet impact in the car and a broken light, so we figured out this was the car they were looking for so we decided to call police when we saw the car involved with killing the guy,” said Alvarez. “We’re sad that he got killed.”
Walker, an ex-con, had cleaned up his life and was involved in the fight against gun violence in his home community of Crown Heights. Friends say Walker was constantly trying to get people in the community to resolve their differences peacefully.
Investigators are looking into whether Walker was followed here from New York. Walker’s friend said he was in South Florida to relax on the one year anniversary of his mother’s death.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS. There is a reward of up to $3,000.