West Kendall Shootout Survivor Says He Dodged "Line of Fire"

Brian Howell acknowelged that marijuana was being grown inside his house, but said he didn't have anything to do with it

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The only person believed to have survived a raging inferno and shootout with police walked out of the Miami-Dade County Jail Friday night with scrapes and scratches on his head. NBC 6 reporter Steve Litz spoke to Brian Howell.

    The only person believed to have survived a raging inferno and shootout with police walked out of the Miami-Dade County Jail Friday night with scrapes and scratches on his head.

    Brian Howell then started talking – recounting the ordeal that unfolded at his West Kendall home three nights ago.

    “They didn’t say they were the police, and it didn't say police on the front of their thing, and they just pulled us out,” said Howell, 29. “I think my brother thought it was a home invasion. I think he thought he was just protecting the house.”

    RAW VIDEO: West Kendall House On Fire Morning After Police Shootout

    [MI] RAW VIDEO: West Kendall House On Fire Morning After Police Shootout
    The West Kendall home where police say officers and suspects were involved in a shootout continues to burn the morning after the incident.

    Miami-Dade Police raided it, suspecting to be a marijuana grow house. As they approached on Tuesday night, investigators said, somebody inside the house started shooting at them.

    Police fired back, a shootout ensued, and the home went up in flames.

    Suspect in West Kendall Manhunt Found Dead: Police

    [MI] Suspect in West Kendall Manhunt Found Dead: Police
    A day after a shootout with detectives at a West Kendall home, police said Wednesday that suspect Dell Peter DiGiovanni had been found dead in an apparent suicide. Another body was found inside the residence that was burned Tuesday night, Miami-Dade Police spokesman Det. Alvaro Zabaleta said.

    Howell acknowledged to NBC 6 that marijuana was being grown inside.

    “I lived in the house but that was all my stepdad’s, that was all his thing, I didn’t have anything to do with it,” Howell said, referring to the grow equipment.

    Howell, who was released on $5,000 bond, has been charged with possession of a place to manufacture a controlled substance. Eight damaged marijuana plants were found in the house, police said Thursday.

    Earlier this week, police found 50-year-old Dell Peter DiGiovanni dead of an apparent suicide.

    Police were also searching for a third suspect, Michael Steven DiGiovanni, 28. Authorities found a burned body inside the West Kendall home, and while it hasn’t yet been identified, it’s believed to be Michael DiGiovanni.

    Howell, the lone survivor, managed to get to his neighbor’s house. That's where police found him.

    “I was trying to survive. I just tried to get out of the line of fire," Howell said. "They told me if you move I'm going to shoot you, and I said there’s shots right around me, I mean, bullets were hitting in front of me. I was like, if I stay here I'm going to get killed."