One of the two suspects who was the subject of an intense manhunt following a shootout with detectives at a West Kendall home has been found dead in an apparent suicide, police said Wednesday.
Miami-Dade Police confirmed that the body of Dell Peter DiGiovanni was found in the area of Southwest 48th Terrace and Southwest 147th Place, as officers conducted a massive manhunt following the Tuesday night shootout.
The discovery came just hours after a burned body was found inside the home in the 15400 block of Southwest 57th Street where the incident began. The body found in the home hasn't been identified.
Police had been searching for DiGiovanni, 50, and relative Michael Steven DiGiovanni, 28, following the shooting that happened around 7:15 p.m. when detectives approached the home and came under fire from the suspects.
As detectives returned fire, the house caught fire, police said. None of the officers were injured.
A third suspect, Brian Kelly Howell, 29, was taken into custody after officers set up a perimeter from Miller Drive to 64th Avenue and from SW 142nd Avenue to SW 157th Avenue, Miami-Dade Police said.
Police had said Dell and Michael DiGiovanni were said to be on the run and likely armed and dangerous.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said the suspects were related but the exact nature of their relationship was unknown.
Zabaleta had earlier said there was still a possibility that someone, including one of the suspects, could be inside the house that was set on fire.
"We have not been able to enter or process the house itself because of the fact that it's still considered to be unsafe, fire has not been able to get to it because it's still too hot," Zabaleta said Wednesday.
When officers and firefighters entered the home Wednesday morning, they discovered the body.
Police said it wasn't immediately clear if all of the men shot at police. Narcotics units were investigating a possible grow house at the home, police said.
"These individuals obviously attempted to kill an officer so the very minimum you're gonna have attempted murder on a law enforcement officer," Zabaleta said of the charges they'll face.
Neighbor Rodrigo Ruez said he heard what sounded like automatic guns and backup fire.
"It sounded like the world was ending because everybody was panicking, 'cause everybody heard the shootings,” said Ruez, who was minutes away from his home when he heard the gunshots.
Smoke had billowed out of the burning home late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel waited in the area, ready to move in at a moment's notice.
Dozens of police officers were on the scene Tuesday, some of them walking around with rifles.
Some West Kendall residents were kept away from their homes as police searched. Ashley Diaz, like dozens of people, could not get into her home.
She said she was coming back from Target when she found her way blocked, so she stopped at a gas station – where she had been ever since.
“We’re stuck. We can’t go that way, we can’t go that way,” Diaz said, pointing in opposite directions.
The perimeter mostly impacted two housing developments in the area – Lakes of the Meadows and Westwood Lakes.
"This is where I live, and it’s just not safe anymore," said displaced resident Anthony Guzman. "People have kids growing up here. It’s not right.”
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