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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Pembroke Pines police have made an arrest in connection with the murder of an Army veteran earlier this week.
Police said Bryan Carl Fenders Bernadelle, 19, has been arrested in connection with the case.
Police say 23-year-old Kadeem Smith was found murdered at the Bella Grande community in Pembroke Pines.
According to his brother, Smith came home the night before and was worried he had been followed.
He was nervous. It’s unclear why.
On Wednesday his mother, Marie Senior, looked at baby pictures of her son. It is all she has left of him.
“His dream was to be in the military. To go to fight for his country,” she said.
Smith enlisted a month after graduating high school. Senior says he got hurt while serving and ended up coming home.
Tuesday night around 12:20 a.m. he showed up at Senior’s home in a panic.
Smith’s brother, Keith Winn, answered the door.
“He was panicking. He was very afraid. I saw him peeking out the kitchen window. When I asked him what he was doing, he said somebody was following him from work,” Winn said.
After a few minutes, Winn climbed back in bed. He heard his brother step out onto the porch, continuing to talk about someone following him.
A few minutes later shots rang out in the apartment complex.
Senior said she jumped out of bed.
“I run out to see what is going on,” she said. “My son was saying call 9-1-1. Call 9-1-1.”
Smith was lying on the floor of the patio.
“I touched him. He wasn’t breathing,” Senior recalls.
Smith was shot multiple times. According to his brother, he was shot in the back and died on the porch.
“It looked like someone had come up. The screen door was open,” Winn said.
So far police have not indicated who or what prompted the shooting.
Meanwhile, Senior is trying to make sense of it.
“Why could you just injure him? Or talk to him? And if you felt he needed to feel some pain, just putting in the hospital. He would have healed and come back and still be ambitious, or talk it out,” she said.
Police are now piecing together Smith’s last hour between clocking out at work, driving home, and the shooting.
His mother hopes they find who is responsible.
“I hope I get closure as to what happened to him because he didn’t deserve what happened to him. Kadeem has a great soul. Everybody loved Kadeem. I felt he was hunted down, and killed,” she said.
The family tells CBS4 that community cameras recorded Smith coming home, as well as another car following him into the community. They are hopeful there is a solid lead there.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Smith family. Click here if you would like to donate.
Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).