Teen Arrested in Elderly Man's Murder in Opa-locka Parking Lot: Police

Miguel Pilotos was shot and killed on Aug. 21 in the parking lot of the Top Value supermarket

Police said Friday they've arrested a teen in the murder of a 71-year-old man at an Opa-locka supermarket parking lot.

Miami-Dade Police said the 17-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Miguel Pilotos. He has been transferred to the Miami-Dade Juvenile Assessment Center and was being held without bond, police said.

State prosecutors are looking to try the 17-year-old as an adult and are seeking an indictment for the murder charge.

“I'm at peace because justice has been done,” said the victim’s widow, Aleida Pilotos.

Pilotos was shot and killed on Aug. 21 in the parking lot of the Top Value supermarket at 13931 Northwest 27th Avenue after he had been grocery shopping, police said.

Surveillance video of the shooting shows Pilotos approached by a suspect on a bicycle as he's trying to get into his car. The suspect suddenly opens fire then rides off on his bicycle as Pilotos collapses.

The 17-year-old did not appear in juvenile court Friday. His mother and sister were there but they would not comment.

The family has hired attorney Rod Vereen, who ran for Miami-Dade state attorney last year. He spoke with the media.

“There was nothing in his prior criminal history that would indicate that he has the mental capacity or the propensity to commit this type of event, so it leads me to believe that if that it is him in the videotape then there are some mental issues here,” Vereen said.

According to police, the defendant has been arrested previously on charges that include burglary, displaying a firearm, cocaine possession and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Vereen said Jackson was involved in a bad car accident in 2009 and suffered head trauma. He's also alleging physical abuse by police.

“There was a confession that was signed and he's alleged that law enforcement beat him up while he was in custody, and the public defender's office took photographs of the injuries,” Vereen said.

Last week, Pilotos' family made a plea to the public to help find the suspect.

"We feel so bad the way this happened and then we call the community to help us," said the victim's nephew, Roberto Miranda.

After the family made their plea, police said they received a Crime Stoppers tip that identified the suspect in the video.

Robbery appears to be the motive behind the shooting, police said.

"He destroyed a family and I think about how his mother must feel having a son like that,” Aleida Pilotos said. “It can't be easy.”

More Local Stories:

Contact Us