Suspicious person lurks, homeowner shoots him, cops say

A suspected burglar was shot outside this house in Miami’s Design District Tuesday morning.
A suspected burglar was shot outside this house in Miami’s Design District Tuesday morning.

An attempted home break-in went awry for the would-be-burglar Tuesday when a homeowner cornered him in the backyard, and shot him, police said.

Miami police hadn’t released the name of the suspected burglar by late morning. They said he was transported to the hospital and was undergoing surgery with a bullet wound to the left side of his mid-section.

They also didn’t release the name of the shooter or his wife. A search of Miami-Dade property records shows the home at 36 NE 42nd St., is listed in property records as belonging to Sarima Gracia Vega, a local artist who has been outspoken in the past about the historic nature of her neighborhood.

The two-story art deco home on a tree-lined street of mostly refurbished homes is adjacent and north of the booming Design District and its billion-dollar overhaul. Construction equipment and giant cranes are practically in its backyard.

Residents along the street say break-ins are common. Isabela Nunez, who lives next door to the home where the shooting occurred, said her home has been broken into twice and many others on the street have been vandalized more times than that.

Police weren’t immediately able to gather statistics. Nunez said she woke up Tuesday morning to screaming from her neighbor’s home.

“They were saying just keep quiet to him and I saw him on the ground,” she said. “I was sleeping, then heard everything. We came out and he [the shooter] told him not to move.”

According to Miami police, the couple in the home on Northeast 42nd Street were awakened when the home’s alarm went off while someone was trying to break in through a rear window.

The homeowner went downstairs with a gun and spotted a man before he was able to gain entry. Then, police said, there was a confrontation in the backyard, where the man was shot. Police said they found bolt cutters in the yard not far from the shooting victim.

“He was heard trying to break in through a window,” said Miami police spokeswoman Yelitza Cedano-Hernandez. “The homeowner was inside the house. Came outside and shot him.”

Cedano-Hernandez said the man who was shot was found on the west side of the backyard property, which is two properties away from busy North Miami Avenue.

She said the couple living in the home, with a gravel driveway, a wooden front door adorned with a wreath and a Volkswagen and BMW truck in the driveway, were too shaken up to speak publicly.