A Miami SWAT unit tried for hours Saturday to coax a suspected killer out of an Overtown apartment complex.
“I know you’re a good person. We’re not going to hurt you,” a female officer’s voice said over a loudspeaker while a colleague trained his rifle on the unit’s door. “I know you want to do the right thing.”
But police, it turned out, were talking to an empty apartment. They stormed a third-floor unit about 3:30 p.m. Saturday and came out empty-handed.
Investigators then continued to hunt elsewhere for the man who they say fatally shot another man about 1 a.m. Saturday in apartment 307 at 1132 NW Second Ave.
Police and relatives identified the victim as Robert Santos, 23.
He was one of seven siblings and had just celebrated a birthday this month, sister Denise Castillo said.
“We have a really close family,” said Castillo, who lives in Allapattah. “I just got out of work, and they told me he died. We have no idea what happened.”
Santos had been living in the Overtown complex with his girlfriend while he was on house arrest related to a gun charge, Castillo said.
Santos had a trial scheduled for January on a charge of armed robbery with a deadly weapon stemming from a case that began in September 2012, according to court records.
Police did not name a suspect as of late Saturday, but investigators said they were following strong leads.
“Homicide detectives have been working this all night,” said Officer René Pimentel, a Miami Police spokesman.
The violence resulted in a long day for residents of the complex, who waited outside for hours after police evacuated the building to look for Santos’ killer.
“They chased us out this morning and no one is allowed back in,” said Jorge Gonzalez. Police allowed residents to return to their homes around 4:30 p.m.
Neighbor Elizabeth Diaz watched the scene unravel from outside the yellow police tape.
“None of us knows what’s going on,” she said. “It could be drugs, it could be gang stuff, it could be anything. This is Overtown, you know?”