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Jose Suarez confessed to shooting his next door neighbor in the head as she walked downstairs, bag in hand, of their Hialeah apartment building Sunday afternoon, Hialeah police said. The shooting ended a running disagreement between Suarez and his next-door neighbors.
Over a parking space and cars.
The woman police found by the west stairwell of 950 W. Third Ave with a fatal gunshot wound hasn’t been identified by Hialeah cops, but witnesses and neighbors identified her as Lourdes Torres, 52, to NBC6. Suarez, 72, sits in Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center charged with second-degree murder.
His only previous encounter with the legal system in Miami-Dade was a 2005 concealed-weapons charge for which he did community service.
Suarez’s arrest report says police found him with a 9mm Baretta in his waistband and a loaded magazine in the right front pocket. When questioned him, the report says, Suarez waived his Miranda rights in favor of giving police his version of how Torres wound up dead.
Suarez said he’d been arguing with Torres and her husband over a parking space and car damage. He grabbed his Baretta before going to by lottery tickets. When he crossed paths with Torres as he headed down the stairs, she lunged upward at him with a knife, he told police, so he stood his ground and shot her in self defense. Then he went back to his apartment and told his wife what had happened.
Police told Suarez that tale came with inconsistencies. The report says Suarez altered his story to be that he never saw Torres’ hands or a knife, but she was startled to see him and that’s when he fired.
Police told Suarez that story still didn’t fit. So, Suarez told them Torres was walking down the stairs holding a bag when he shot her.
At that point, police claim, Suarez stopped talking except to exclaim in Spanish, “Me atrapaste!” (”You got me!”).