Man Arrested for Club Lexx Shooting Denied Bond: Officials

Kijuan Byrd was fatally shot outside Club Lexx on June 1 by a security guard, officials said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Authorities said Friday they arrested Lukace Kendle, 26, on a charge of second-degree murder for shooting Kijuan Byrd outside Club Lexx in northwest Miami-Dade last Friday.Byrd's family talks exclusively to NBC 6. (Published Saturday, Jun 9, 2012)

    A judge denied bond Saturday for the security guard charged with second-degree murder for killing  a man outside Club Lexx in northwest Miami-Dade.

    Authorities said Friday they arrested Lukace Kendle, 26, Friday afternoon at his home on SW 291st Street. Miami-Dade Police said they arrested the security guard for shooting and killing Kijuan Byrd, 29, in a parking lot outside the club.

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    Kendle also faces a charge of attempted second-degree murder for shooting another unarmed man, 31-year-old Michael Smathers, who remains in critical condition at Ryder Trauma Center, police said.

    The incident took place on June 1 at about 10:53 p.m. outside the club at 12001 NW 27th Avenue, police said.

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    "My son is gone, and we can’t bring him back. And we’re going to be reminded of that tomorrow morning, when we bury him," Byrd's mother, Arlene Byrd, told NBC 6 Friday night.

    Earlier on Friday, she and the Byrd family demanded answers and pressed authorities to make an arrest.

    Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Byrd's family, said the security guard who opened fire and allegedly shot Byrd six times is claiming a “stand your ground” defense.

    NBC 6 requested an interview with the managers or owners of the club, but they didn't comment.

    The seven-year-old law allows a person to meet force with force if they reasonably believe they are in danger of being killed or seriously harmed.

    Kendle told police that he saw Byrd and Smathers looking at him, and later when he passed by their vehicle in the parking lot he saw both their doors open at the same time and heard someone say "I going to kill him," according to a police offense incident report released Friday.

    Fearing for his life, Kendle shot at both of them to stop the threat, the report says.

    Smathers told police that he and Byrd were getting out of a bronze 2001 Ford F-150 when a man approached them and said, "Hey, hey, what you said?" before shooting both of them point blank, the arrest warrant for Kendle says.

    He works for Force One Security, which provides parking lot security for Club Lexx, the warrant says.

    The company did not return phone calls Friday.

    When Kendle arrived for work at about 10:45 p.m. that night he parked his Chevrolet Avalanche next to the Ford F-150, where he saw Smathers, in the driver's seat, and Byrd, in the front passenger seat, rolling what he believed were marijuana cigarettes, according to the warrant.

    The confrontation occurred when he went back to his vehicle to retrieve his cigarettes. Kendle shot numerous times and struck Smathers, then shot into the windshield several times as he walked around the front of the Ford, the warrant says. He saw Byrd drop out of the truck and try to crawl away underneath it, and shot Byrd numerous times, including in his back as he was crawling, the warrant says.

    Kendle told homicide investigators after being read his Miranda rights that as Smathers was leaving the Ford he might have been pulling something upwards, though he was unable to see Smathers' hands. He said he shot at Smathers four times, and also shot at Byrd four times, afraid for his life as he did so, the warrant says.

    Crump said that unlike the Trayvon Martin case, in which he represents the teen’s parents, Smathers will be able to give an account of what happened.

    “He was my only child. He is gone. I don’t know what I am going to tell my grandbaby,” Arlene Byrd said during a news conference on Friday.

    Meanwhile, his father, Donald Byrd, questioned why the shooter was not arrested.

    Kijuan Byrd had two children and graduated from Norland High School in 2001, said his parents. He went to West Hill Community College, his family said.

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