The family of a man in a wheelchair who was shot to death Tuesday morning spoke to NBC 6, calling the suspect, who led police on a high-speed chase through Miami, a “maniac.”
Carmen Perez said the love of her life for the last 20 years, Israel Zerquera, was in a wheelchair Tuesday morning when police said a man exited I-95 at the 95th Street exit and then got out of his car. The suspect then walked towards Israel and opened fire.
Based on witness descriptions, police issued an advisory to look out for a gold Chevy Malibu. A short time later, officers in an undercover burglary task force spotted a car matching the description.
The driver of the car, identified by police as Rodney Louis, 26, refused to stop and the pursuit began, officials said. Footage showed police cars pursuing the suspect in the Malibu as the car sped along streets and through traffic signals before heading north on I-95.
The car stopped after it was involved in a crash near Miami Gardens Drive and officers were seen taking Louis into custody. Police said they found a stolen .40 caliber Glock handgun with Louis.
For Israel’s daughter-in-law, who asked not to be named, went back to work at the same ramp where Israel was killed to sell water and hats because the family is broke.
“I do this. This is my job to sell water,” Israel’s daughter-in-law said, “to help my family with our personal bills, but for the next few days, I’m gonna be out here trying to help with funeral costs.”
Several residents said they were in shock following the shooting.
"We ask the question, 'Why?'" said Pastor Mike Davis. "This was a senseless killing. It was a tragedy. This is terrible for this community."
Truck driver Richard Washington said he was upset that this would happen in the neighborhood he drives through every day.
"It really touches me," Washington said. "That should not be happening here."
Police said Louis faces charges of grand theft, murder, and fleeing and eluding. The shooting and chase both remain under investigation.