“He seemed like he was trying to get me away from the house and was alerting someone in the house,” Saavedra said. “The last thing I expected was that he was alerting someone inside the car.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Saavedra said, he noticed a silhouette of an armed man emerging from the BMW. Delgado, taking cover behind a tree in the yard, pointed the weapon at FBI Agent Raul Perdomo.
Saavedra pushed Estevanell down and drew his weapon.
“I felt Raul Perdomo’s life was in immediate danger. I felt my life was in danger,” Saavedra said. “I retrieved my firearm and started firing. ... He immediately turned his attention to me and began firing.”
Saavedra knew he was hit, but grabbed his stomach and kept firing with one hand as he fell to the ground.
Another round hit his leg. Then, he felt someone punch and kick his head. Estevanell, he remembered, began attacking him, ripping away the rosary draped around his neck.
Estevanell fell backward into bushes as another Miami-Dade detective, Jorge Milan, felled Delgado with a precision shot through the thick tree branches.
“When I fired the weapon, he went down,’’ Milan said last week. “I fired one shot.”
Estevanell was detained as fellow officers helped Saavedra across the street, where he took off his vest and lay on the ground.
Inside hidden rooms of the home, detectives found 80 pounds of marijuana and hydroponic lab equipment.
“The defendant was an active participant in all of this,” said Miami-Dade prosecutor Frank Ledee.
Estevanell’s lawyers argued that the longtime jeweler only used the home as a place to melt down gold for resale and had no participation in the marijuana operation. And both men believed the cops were impersonators looking to rob them, lawyers James McGuirk and Edward Carhart said.
“Mr. Delgado saw his friend being attack by what everyone thought was a burglar. He came out with a gun and didn’t start shooting,” McGuirk said. “The police started shooting.”
But Judge Gordo said prosecutors proved enough of a case to keep Estevanell behind bars for attempted felony murder and felony murder.