A day after Coral Gables police shot and killed a man who they say was burglarizing a vehicle, the suspect still hasn’t been named and his accused cohort — found hiding nearby under a car — was charged with murder.
Henry Rodriguez, 38, appeared in Miami-Dade Circuit Court Monday morning and was formally charged with second-degree murder and burglary to an unoccupied vehicle. Rodriguez, who police believe acted as the lookout while his partner burglarized a car, was denied bond.
A witness “positively identified the defendant from a photo lineup as the lookout,” police wrote in Rodriguez’s arrest report.
Rodriguez was essentially charged with the shooting death of a man police say was his partner. He’s facing a murder count because police contend Rodriguez took part in the crime that led to his partner’s shooting death by police. He’s being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Gables police have said very little about the early Sunday morning shooting. They refused comment on Rodriguez’s charges on Monday and haven’t released the name of the man killed by officers, saying his family has still not been notified of his death.
Police said they responded to the 100 block of Calabria Avenue at 5:16 a.m. Sunday after someone called and said two men were burglarizing a car — one leaning into it, the caller said, while the other stood lookout. When police arrived they found the front window of a black Chrysler 300 smashed in, its door open and a crowbar. They claim they reached the car’s owner who said he didn’t authorize anyone to use the vehicle and the crowbar wasn’t his.
Officers who set up a perimeter and were scouring the area noticed a man seated in a U-Haul with an Arizona license plate nearby. They ordered him to put his hands in the air. Instead, police said, the man accelerated the vehicle towards them.
“The victim/subject turned on the vehicle and attempted to flee and escape the immediate scene by accelerating the truck in the direct path of the officers. The officers fearing for their lives were forced to discharge their weapons,” police wrote in the arrest form.
Two officers fired their weapons. The driver was killed. A short time later they found Rodriguez on the same street hiding under a white Mazda CX5. He gave himself up without a fight and was taken into custody. Police said a witness later identified him in a photo lineup.
The two officers who fired their weapons were relieved of street duty with pay during the shooting investigation, which is being done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Coral Gables police are investigating the alleged burglary.