The prime suspect in the mysterious execution-style murder of a Prada store manager on Miami Beach last month has been arrested at least 27 times in the past two decades on charges ranging from burglary and drug possession to firing a weapon into a building.
Miami Beach police for the first time on Thursday named the suspected triggerman as 32-year-old Tyrone Jackson. Jackson, whose numerous encounters with law enforcement are laid out in state criminal records, also has a distinctive gait that attests to his troubled past. He walks with a severe limp in his right leg, a wound police say he suffered after being struck by a bullet from an AK-47.
He hasn’t been captured.
Police identified Jackson as the suspected shooter a week after finding a white Honda Accord they say was used during the crime, with Jeremiah Grant Dorvilus in the driver’s seat as the car sat at a Miami Metrorail station. Dorvilus, 31, was arrested late Wednesday night, charged with first-degree murder and denied bond in the shooting death of Kamil Patel, 29, who was gunned down less than a month after moving to Miami Beach from Dallas.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Police still haven’t said why Patel, who managed the high-end fashion retail store at the Bal Harbour Shops, was chosen as a target.
“We don’t have a motive,” said Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez. “There is no indication to lead us to believe the victim knew the shooter. There’s no evidence that leads us to even suspect that.”
Police say they believe Jackson, who records show has spent stints in prison after repeated arrests for possession and intent to sell cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine, was the gunman who got out of the Honda’s passenger seat, shot Patel, then got back into the car and fled.
The arrest of Dorvilus, two weeks after the retail store manager was gunned down, offers the first glimpse into the timeline of the shocking, seemingly random killing late in the evening on Jan. 25. Patel and his girlfriend, Katy Park, were walking on a side street less than a block from Española Way when the shooting happened.
Dorvilus’ arrest affidavit indicates that police are piecing the crime together with a cooperating witness, a third man who claims he was in the car when Patel was murdered.
The witness, who is only identified in the police report as Shaw, said he was approached earlier that evening by Dorvilus — a man he had known for several months and who was driving the white Honda. He told police he was invited to go for a ride with Dorvilus and another man. The witness claims Jackson was seated in the passenger seat, police say.
He said Dorvilus drove to Miami Beach and along Ocean Drive before heading west and turning down Collins Court. According to the police report, Shaw said at that point “Dorvilus directed their attention toward victim Patel and witness Park who were walking n/b [northbound] in the alley.”
Shaw told police the Honda pulled up in front of the couple and partially blocked them when Jackson reached for a small, dark gun under the passenger seat, got out of the car and confronted the couple. He said Dorvilus also had a gun.
“When co-def was approximately six feet away, he pointed and discharged the firearm two times at the victim. He then saw the victim fall to the ground. The co-def then reentered the vehicle,” according to Dorvilus’ arrest affidavit. Shaw said he was driven back to Overtown and dropped off. Police believe Jackson and Dorvilus also live in the Miami area.
The story given by Shaw coincides with earlier police accounts and statements from Park, Patel’s girlfriend.
According to police, it was just before midnight and Patel and Park had just left the iconic South Beach bar Mac’s Club Deuce and were walking along the 1400 block of Collins Court when the Honda pulled up in front of them. Park told police a black man got out of the passenger door and fired two rounds into Patel, striking him in the shoulder and the stomach. Earlier in the day, Patel had picked up Park at the airport. She was in town for a brief visit.
On a GoFundMe page created for Patel, Park said she is alive because of the actions of her boyfriend. “He didn’t hesitate. His last words were ‘Katy, keep walking.’ ”
Surveillance video along Collins Court shows a clear picture of Patel and Park walking hand-in-hand, then leaving the picture and the white Honda believed used in the crime turning down the street behind them.
In a still unexplained twist, the white Honda with license plate CCP 4319 was reported stolen the day after Patel’s death. The man last seen in the vehicle, according to his family, was 54-year-old Orestes Conrado Marrero, who was initially missing, but was found by police a few days later. Police have not said how Dorvilus ended up with Marrero’s vehicle.
Like Jackson, Dorvilus has a lengthy criminal past also dating back two decades, state records show. He’s been arrested several times for grand theft, at least six times for burglary and once for attempted strong-arm robbery. In 2014 he was arrested for robbery by Miami police who found he was a fugitive for an alleged crime committed in Georgia.
On Thursday police also released a wanted poster for Jackson. In one of the two pictures on the release, he’s seated wearing white on a step with a blue arrow pointing to his right leg. Police, without offering an explanation, say he has a severe limp and a lengthy scar from being struck by a bullet from a high-powered rifle.