The family of a man who was shot and killed during a Craigslist transaction at a Davie CVS is demanding the arrest of the man who shot him.
Family members of 20-year-old Andre Smith are also demanding the release of any video or photos that captured the fatal Nov. 1 shooting at the CVS on University Drive near Griffin Road.
The family and their attorneys held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the incident and demand the arrest of 38-year-old Matthew Barry, the man who police say shot Smith.
"My son was beautiful. My son was my life. And I'm not going to stop until I get justice for my son," mother Andrea Smith said.
"If the Davie Police Department continues to deny our clients’ right to review the evidence, we will file a public records lawsuit," attorney Jasmine Rand said. "If the Davie Police Department refuses to arrest Mathew Jay Barry, we will ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Department of Justice to step in."
Smith was African-American, while Barry is white. Rand has represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Smith's family is also represented by Jose Baez, who was the attorney for Casey Anthony and Aaron Hernandez.
Davie Police say the two met at the parking lot of the CVS to complete the sale of an iPhone 7 that Smith was selling through Craigslist. But after money was exchanged, there was an argument as Barry claimed Smith and his friend were trying to take off with the phone and the cash, police said.
Police said Barry tried to leave in his car but Smith and a friend who was with him blocked the car. Barry ran into the CVS, frantically telling employees to call 911, as surveillance video showed Smith and his friend follow him into the store, police said.
According to police, Barry indicated to Smith and his friend that he has a concealed weapons permit and that he was carrying a weapon, but that Smith and the friend replied that they also had a weapon.
Surveillance video from the store showed Smith pursuing Barry through the store, police said. At one point, Barry pushed Smith away from him, pulled out his gun and opened fire, hitting Smith several times.
Barry's attorney, Ken Padowitz, said Smith followed him around the store and Barry shot in self-defense.
"He told the clerk to call 911. But in the end, he had to defend himself," Padowitz said.
Smith was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died. Records show the Pembroke Pines resident had a criminal history including charges for domestic violence and misdemeanors, but his mother says he was in college and close to earning his associate's degree.
"A week has gone by and I have no answers regarding why the man whom shot and killed my son has not been arrested. Not only did he kill my son, he endangered all of those other people in CVS," Andrea Smith said in a statement. "My son was a college student and less than one credit away from finishing his Associates Degree. I watched this happen to Trayvon Martin’s family when the man that killed their son wasn’t arrested. I can’t believe I’m watching this happen to my family. To my son. Here I am five years later demanding justice for Andre."
Baez said Smith wasn't armed at the time of the shooting.
"One thing is certain: Andre Smith was unarmed and did not have a weapon of any kind," Baez said.
He also claims the family wasn't notified of Smith's death until it was reported by the media, and that when the family was told, officials said the media would make it seem "like a race thing."
"The only mention came from the Davie Police Department when they asked we not speak with you, because of their fear of it becoming a race thing," Baez said. "The insertion of race was already initiated by the Davie police."
At a news conference Thursday, Davie Police Maj. Dale Engle said no arrests have been made but the investigation into the case is still ongoing. He said Smith's family will be the first to know what the findings of the investigation are.
"We are sensitive to the family's involvement in this tragedy and at the appropriate time we will share all the evidence with them prior to making it public," Engle said.
Engle said police wouldn't release the evidence until the investigation was completed.
"This incident happened a week ago, this isn't TV where everything happens and is resolved in 45 minutes without commercials," Engle said. "We're gonna do a thorough job, we're gonna do our job and we're gonna take every bit of evidence that we can compile and that's what's gonna be in our case."
He also expressed sympathy for Smith's mother.
"I can't fathom what that poor mother went through in losing a child," Engle said.