An ice cream truck driver suffering financial woes and frustrated that his wife wanted to move back to New Jersey shot and killed her and his son and badly wounded an attorney before police ended a three-hour standoff Wednesday afternoon when they shot him.
Police said that as Fadel Jabado sat in his car surrounded by law enforcement in a South Miami-Dade field, he fired his weapon at them and agitatedly begged officers to take his life.
“He wanted suicide by cop. That was his intent,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez.
He didn’t quite get his wish. But police did shoot Jabado several times after they said he pointed his gun at them. He was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition.
Information gathered from a friend and public records show that Jabado ended the life of a wife who badly wanted to leave South Florida, and of a son who wanted to move out and buy his own home, and that he badly wounded a real estate attorney who did the paperwork on a property Jabado lost in a short sale three years ago.
Police, who said they shot Jabado in the stomach area several times, confirmed late Wednesday that he shot and killed his wife, Bessima, and oldest son, Ahmad.
By late Wednesday night, Jabado had not yet been charged.
“It’s just a tragedy. A family tragedy,” said Perez.
The standoff between Jabado and police in a South Dade field near Quail Roost Drive and Naranja Road lasted almost three hours. Police said Jabado fired his gun twice at them early on and spent a long time with negotiators on his cellphone. At the end, Perez said, he got in and out of his car several times, then pointed his gun at an officer before he was shot.
The daylong manhunt for Jabado, 54, began at 10:30 a.m. after witnesses said he shot attorney Larry Harshman five times at his Kendall law office at 11420 N. Kendall Dr.
Harshman, 58, a real estate attorney who drew up the paperwork for a home Jabado was forced to sell short three years ago, was transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. He was in critical condition, police said.
Jabado fled in a white Chevrolet truck. So police raced to Jabado’s home at 13570 SW 192nd St., where they discovered the bodies of his wife and son.
“We found them in the house. They’re deceased. But we don’t know who they are,” said a law enforcement officer familiar with the investigation. Other law enforcement sources, however, identified the bodies and said they believed Jabado shot and killed the two.
With Jabado nowhere in sight, police turned their attention to his family. At one point police tried to secure Jabado’s other children by ordering the lockdown of the three Miami-Dade public schools they attend, Herbert A. Ammons Middle School, Terra Environmental Research Institute and Jack Gordon Elementary.
When the children were found, the lockdown was lifted.
By 2:30 p.m., police spotted a man they believed to be Jabado in a car in the South Dade field near Quail Roost Drive. They surrounded the vehicle, closed off nearby streets and ordered residents to stay in their homes.
Less than three hours later, after failed negotiations and after a clearly agitated Jabado repeatedly got in and out of his car, he was shot by police. He was airlifted to Jackson Memorial South’s trauma center, where he was in critical condition, police said.
Miami-Dade County property records list Ahmad Jabado, Jabado’s son, as the owner of the home on Southwest 192nd Street where he and his mother were killed.
Longtime family friend Ramzy M. Alsaidi, who owns a Homestead pharmacy and who bought the South Dade property on Southwest 173rd Street that Fadel Jabado was forced to sell short three years ago, said the family was having a hard time trying to sell the home where they currently lived.
Records filed with the Miami-Dade clerk’s office show that Harshman was the attorney who drew up the paperwork when Jabado sold the home to Alsaidi in a short sale in 2013.
Alsaidi also said that Jabado and Bessima often argued and that Bessima wanted to move back to New Jersey, where they once lived. He said the last time he spoke with her, Bessima told him that they were moving, but that Jabado denied it.
Alsaidi said he’s known the family since he moved into the neighborhood 15 years ago.
“We were neighbors for a very long time. I had a house less than two blocks away,” he said. “But my God, I never expected anything like this. They were almost going to get divorced. But they seemed to work it out. They did fight a lot.”
Alsaidi said the Jabados had six children, four sons and two daughters.
Police believe Jabado killed his wife and son before shooting Harshman. But they stressed they’re not certain of the order.