Latest News

May 27, 2007 | Latin music producer is shot

The handyman showed up at the sleek Miami waterfront mansion just before midnight, carrying a whole lot more than the plastic bag of marijuana his multimillionaire employer was expecting.

As he whipped a gun from his backpack, the handyman's first shot ripped clear through the chest of Fabio Alonso Salgado -- known to Latin music aficionados as the legendary songwriter and producer Estéfano.

The gunman ordered the bleeding hitmaker to lie facedown on the kitchen floor of the palatial Venetian Isles home, firing a second shot into the back of Estéfano's head, behind the right ear.

Miami police disclosed these details of the shooting in a report released Saturday. They said Estéfano, who remains in critical condition at Ryder Trauma Center, is expected to survive.

Arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder: Francisco "Junior" Oliveira, 29, of Miami. The Brazilian-born handyman is being held without bond at the Miami-Dade county jail.

Estéfano, 39, a native of Colombia, has worked with a veritable Who's Who of popular Latin singers. His songs have sold millions of copies, creating hits for Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Shakira, Thalia, Ricky Martin, Chayanne, Jon Secada, Paulina Rubio, and Julio and Enrique Iglesias, among others.

"Were in shock to hear this, " music impresario Emilio Estefan said from the Treasure Coast house where he was vacationing with his singer wife Gloria. "Hes a talented individual and a friend and we pray for his speedy recovery."

Police said Oliveira was bringing Estéfano marijuana around 11:30 p.m. Friday when he pulled the gun from a backpack and started shooting his employer of more than five years.

Estéfano called a friend -- not authorities -- but was transported to the Ryder Trauma Center by Miami fire rescue. The friend was not identified by police.

Miami homicide Det. Freddy Ponce interviewed Estéfano at the trauma center. The songwriter identified a photograph of his alleged attacker and wrote a brief synopsis of the incident on the bottom of the photo.

SUSPECT MUM

Oliveira refused to speak with police at the jail.

The shooting occurred inside the seven-bedroom, seven-bath mansion that boasts a jaw-dropping view of the Miami skyline, a 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace and a black-bottomed pool.

Estéfano acquired the 7,300-square-foot home and an adjacent lot in 2003 and 2004 for a combined $5.6 million. It was recently listed for sale at $7.95 million.

Estéfano may not be a household name, but his songs are instantly recognizable to anyone who follows the Latin music scene.

In 2005, Billboard magazine described him as "an unmatched hitmaker."

During the previous decade, Estéfano wrote or co-wrote 39 Top 40 hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Of those, 22 reached the Top 10 and seven of those reached No. 1.

He's also a prolific producer. Estéfano recently completed production on Jennifer Lopez's new Spanish-language record at his state-of-the-art recording studio in the 5000 block of Biscayne Boulevard, housed in a complex that includes office and art gallery space.

SOLO DEBUT

In 2005, he released his first solo record, Código Personal: A Media Vida (Personal Code: In the Middle of Life).

Born in Manizales, Colombia, and raised in Cali, Estéfano arrived in Miami in 1989 looking for work. He wrote jingles and a song for a telenovela to pay the bills until he was introduced to the Estefans.

The result: two years after arriving in the United States, Estéfano penned Mi Tierra, which became one of Gloria Estefan's classic recordings.

"Brother, it took me to a whole other level professionally, " Estéfano told The Orange County Register in 2005. "I was able to create my own company and anchor my career in the United States."

Miami Herald photographer Nuri Vallbona and staff writer Jordan Levin contributed to this report.

ESTEFANO'S HITS

Here are some of the famous songs penned by Fabio Alonso Salgado -- known to Latin music aficionados as Estéfano.

* Gloria Estefan's Mi Tierra* Julio Iglesia's Agua Dulce, Agua Sala and Sin Excusas ni Rodeos* Alejandro Fernandez' Te Juro* Paulina Rubio's Sexi Dance* Thalia's Amar Sin Ser Amada* Ricky Martin's Y Todo Queda en Nada

  Comments