MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – One teenager is dead after an armed robbery in Miami Beach turned deadly late Thursday night.
Police say Robert Lakatos was out with one of his brothers just before midnight in the area near the 79th Street beach entrance.
Sources tell CBS4 News Robert’s brother was talking to a person who may have been trying to rob him. It’s not clear whether the brother knew the person, but sources tell us, when Robert approached the person shot him.. He tried to run away collapsed and died.
Police responded to the scene and launched a manhunt for the suspected shooter.
Miami Beach Police described the subject as 6 feet tall around 180 pounds with short fade-type blonde hair, with black mechanic type pants.
The suspect reportedly has a tattoo of a marijuana leaf on his chest area and may have been carrying a black book bag when he fled the scene.
Police don’t believe the shooting had anything to do with gangs.
During a family plea late Friday morning, the Lakatos family said they had just moved to Miami Beach from Virginia three months ago.
“I know my grandson,” said Elizabeth Banyiae, Robert’s grandmother. “Beautiful Robert, who had a very, very nice heart. He was always full of love.”
The family said the teen wanted to become an actor or a model.
Neighbors were shaken by the early morning crime.
“That sort of puts a knot in my stomach, sort of like a visceral feeling, that this should be in my paradise,” said North Beach resident Anicia Kowalchuk.
“Good Friday, I can’t believe it,” Elizabeth said. “I ask that people who watched this bad news pray for us; pray for us.”
Police say they’re working some good leads, but they’re still early in the investigation and trying to piece together exactly what happened. Sources say police did find a lighter that looked like a gun at the scene and say that could have been Robert’s.
They say there were a lot of people on the beach when this happened. Though people we talked to say they didn’t see or hear the shooting because there was a full moon party going on.
With another full moon, another party’s expected.. And Miami Beach police have extra officers out patrolling North Beach to make sure everything stays peaceful.
If you have any information about the crime, call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477)