An alert Evelyn Matamoro, sat in her hospital bed Friday, watching a television report of the shooting that put her in Jackson Memorial’s Ryder Trauma Center.
The day before, a robber’s bullet fractured her jawbone, after she handed over her purse as she left a Liberty City restaurant.
With the bullet lodged in her jaw, her face was swollen and bruised, but she was alert and speaking slightly, according to her husband, Vladimir Matamoro.
Doctors say the injury is not life-threatening and surgery will be done to repair her jaw. The bullet, which doctors will try to remove, does not pose any risk at this point.
“She is no longer in danger now, thank God,” Vladimir Matamoro said Friday in Spanish. “If she were, they would have operated already.”
Evelyn Matamoro, 36, her mother and two coworkers were leaving the Chinese restaurant in the 5300 block of Northwest Seventh Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Thursday when a suspect police later identified as Kamiah Lanier approached and pointed a gun.
Matamoro, a Nicaraguan immigrant who didn’t understand English, according to a Miami Police arrest report, handed over her purse.
The suspect shot her in face and took off, according to police.
The other women were not harmed.
Within moments of the shooting, an off-duty Miami-Dade officer saw the suspect running through the rear parking lot and escaping in a gray Dodge Charger driven by a woman.
The officer called in the vehicle’s tag number.
Around 7:45 p.m., a Miami officer stopped the Charger in South Miami-Dade and arrested driver, later identified as Lanier’s sister. She admitted picking up her brother but said she had no knowledge of the robbery and shooting.
A hospitalized Evelyn Matamoro identified Kamiah Lanier, , 20, of Homestead, from a series of photographs and police arrested him at 1:55 a.m. Friday in Florida City.
He denied robbing Matamoro, but police found a gun at the time of his arrest. And WPLG- Channel 10 reported that Evelyn Matamoro’s purse was found with Lanier.
Police charged him with attempted murder, armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and use of firearm during the commission of a felony.
Lanier already has a felony record.
He was charged with armed robbery, battery on a pregnant woman, false imprisonment and domestic battery. He also has a prior misdemeanor charge of battery.
While investigating the shooting, Miami police linked Lanier to an Allapattah armed robbery on Wednesday.
According to a report, Lanier pointed a gun at a woman in the parking lot of an apartment complex and demanded her phone, wallet and chain.
The woman wasn’t hurt.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Matamoro, 39, a car salesman at Doral Hyundai, said he is relieved his wife is recuperating.
The couple, who has been married 15 years, came to the United States 13 years ago and began their family here.
Their daughters, 8 and 10, are staying with family friends and have yet to see their mother, although they were brought to the shooting scene the night before.
Matamoro want to wait until their mother’s facial swelling goes down to avoid traumatizing them further.
“I’m trying to keep them away from the television,” he said.