BSO officials indicated that the agency is investigating the facts of the case, and privately questioned whether a pursuit took place. BSO policy allows deputies to pursue violent felony suspects, but only when the risk of harm from evasion is greater than the potential harm to the public arising from a pursuit.
Baxter is charged with burglary, larceny and petit theft, as well as violation of probation that he received for grand theft in Miami-Dade.
Oakley is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, burglary, petit theft and causing a crash involving death or personal injury.
On Monday morning, family and friends memorialized the two men killed during their usual Sunday morning bicycle ride.
A bouquet of flowers surrounded by other bunches of flowers, along with two U.S. flags, rested at the intersection of Palm Avenue and Sheridan Street, where black skid marks in the road, and a dented railing and damaged trees along the roadside remained as evidence of the crash.
Those who knew Amelkin and McConnell remembered them fondly.
Larry Deknegt of Pembroke Pines had known McConnell for about 30 years, and said his friend enjoyed riding his bicycle to the beach, to Miami and other places.
“That’s how he exercised,’’ Deknegt said, “he rode.’’
Deknegt described McConnell as “a real nice guy, would help you any way he could.’’
Lauren Katz said she and her husband were out to dinner with the McConnells on Saturday night, and she was shocked to learn that her neighbor of about 10 years had been killed hours later.
Katz called McConnell “a great family man … very reliable, decent, kind person.’’
Katz said McConnell had been hit by a car about six or eight months ago, and suffered fairly severe injuries.
“This was really the second time he was hit,’’ she said.
The two slain men were not known to be part of any official local bicycling club, said Celia Conti of the Cooper City-based South Broward Wheelers bike club. Still, Conti said local bicyclists are likely to organize a memorial ride soon, and are certainly taking the tragedy to heart.
“You just realize how vulnerable you are out there,” Conti said. For bikers, “it doesn’t matter whether they’re a member of your club, it’s a community, and we try to show our support.”
Miami Herald writer Ava Rivera contributed to this report.