Bryan Perez studied six photographs lined up in front of him Tuesday, then picked out the man he believes shot him and left him paralyzed from the waist down.
A few hours later, Miami-Dade police picked up Isaac Glen Coles, 20, and charged him with attempted murder with a firearm, armed kidnapping, armed burglary and armed robbery.
Police believe Coles was one of three men responsible for shooting Perez in August. The shooting happened after Perez spotted the trio loitering by a stairwell at his North Miami-Dade apartment complex, and confronted them.
Asked how police were able to identify Coles, Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said “investigative means.”
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Police continue to keep tight-lipped because they’re still searching for two other men they say were with Perez that night.
Cole’s arrest comes a week after family members pleaded with the public to help identify the attackers. According to Miami Herald news partner CBS4, Perez described the moments after he was shot in vivid detail. He now has no feeling in his left leg, and minimal usage of his right.
“As soon as they put me to sleep, I thought that was the last breath I was gonna take,” Perez said. “And when I woke up, I told my mom, ‘Damn, I’ve been asleep for 20 minutes,’ and she said ‘No, you’ve been asleep for four days.’”
He told CBS4 that he tried to fight off the men to protect his mother and girlfriend, who were inside the apartment.
“All of a sudden they just came with three guns. Then they kept trying to break into my house but I wouldn’t let them. Like they kept trying to shove me into my house,” Perez said.
“The moment they shot me, everything went black to me. I didn’t feel my legs. I fell straight to the ground.”
Perez, who can no longer walk, was sitting on his porch with friend Sebastian Antequera, 21, on Aug. 18, when he noticed three people standing near the stairwell at the Fairview apartment complex in the 20700 block of Northeast Fourth Court.
As Perez moved toward the men, one of them pulled a gun, grabbed Perez by the shirt and forced him back onto his porch. There, they grabbed a gold chain from Antequera’s neck, according to a police arrest affidavit.
As the men demanded to know where Perez kept his valuables, they forced Perez and Antequera into the apartment though the rear sliding-glass doors.
Fearing for his life, according to police, Perez pushed the man holding the gun outside the enclosure and tried to slam the glass door shut.
Police say all three men then fired into the home, shattering the glass door and striking Perez several times. Perez was hit in the spine.
“Perez sustained several gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities,” Zabaleta said. Antequera was not injured.
Police found surveillance video of the suspects before and after the incident. The footage may have aided in finding Coles.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show Coles has a lengthy history with the law, dating back to 2008, when he was charged with battery on a police officer and a firefighter. Later that year, he was charged with battery and strong-armed robbery.
In 2011, the records show, he was charged with possession of burglary tools and grand theft. And last year he was charged with trespassing on school grounds after a warning, and with loitering and prowling, carrying a concealed firearm and grand theft, in a separate altercation.