Little Havana - Flagami

The apartment contained four people and a man shot in the head. Police say they found the connection.

Ashley Perez, who police say admitted to doing the shooting.
Ashley Perez, who police say admitted to doing the shooting.

Miami police say a Friday phone call claiming a woman shot someone and was trying to hide the body in her Little Havana home assessed the situation incorrectly. Cops say a woman did shoot someone in the head and had been hiding him in her house for four days. But he was still alive.

She and her pals were trying to get $500 out of him.

That’s the amount the victim told police he still owed on a $700 drug buy. Police arrested four people for this alleged violent and inefficient attempt at debt collection: Jenifer Cortez, who spent her 26th birthday in jail, Monday; Ashley Perez, 21; Felipe Aviles, 26; and Rachel Torna, 21.

All four are being held without bond on one count of attempted premeditated murder and kidnapping with a firearm or weapon. Perez also was charged with using a firearm to commit a felony. Aviles picked up a charge of convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

According to the arrest reports, the victim said the aforementioned foursome with an unidentified white male picked him up as he was discharged from Jackson Memorial Hospital around 11 p.m. on April 3. When he got into the car, he said, the friendly ride turned financial and potentially fatal — Perez demanded the $500 while Aviles put a gun to his head.

They drove him to his West Miami-Dade home so he could get some clothes. While there, he handed his father a note reading, “Papo, they have me against my will because I owe them money. They have guns. As soon as I leave, call the police and inform them. I’m in Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street.”

When the group got to their home, 467 SW Seventh St., Perez allegedly told her debtor he’d sleep on the floor until he paid what he owed. Torna and Cortez slapped away at him while Perez kept demanding money. After a few days, the victim asked to be allowed to go to work.

That didn’t sit well with his captors. Avila allegedly pulled a gun to shoot him in the leg. Perez deciding that wasn’t good enough, grabbed the gun and shot the victim in the head. She didn’t kill himalthough the victim said she said she was surprised he lived. She told him to keep pressure on his wound while they cleaned the room.

That phone call came in to Miami police around 4 p.m. Friday. Police arrived to find the victim and the four suspects.

According to the arrest reports, Avila, Cortez and Torna denied any involvement. Perez confessed to the shooting.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal