Weeks after Silas Spence fired a single shot and allegedly killed 19-year-old Omar Darwish in the parking lot of an Aventura LA Fitness, he and his accomplice, Lucas Seeger, fled the scene.
With the assistance of U.S. Marshals, Aventura police arrested Spence Wednesday in Georgia. Seeger had already been taken into custody last week.
In a news conference Thursday, Aventura Police Chief Bryan Pegues described the incident that led to the teens’ charges of first-degree murder.
On Jan. 19, Spence, Seeger, and Seeger’s underage girlfriend, identified only as L.W., met Darwish in a dim corner of the LA Fitness parking lot. The gym, in the 3400 block of Northeast 207th Street, was closed at the time.
Spence and Seeger, both 19, had intended to buy roughly $800 worth of THC vapor cartridges from the victim’s underage friend, a dealer identified only as M.G., 17. The cartridges are used for vape devices, a popular and odorless way to inhale marijuana.
According to Aventura Det. Thomas Mundy, the lead detective on the case, both parties suspected the other was law enforcement.
Here is the account from Aventura police:
The two groups had gotten in touch after Spence reached out to M.G. on Snapchat, a social media app known for its messages that disappear. They arranged to make the exchange and met that night, parked three spaces apart from one another in the tree-covered lot.
M.G. passed Spence the drugs in a white bag. But after receiving the cartridges, Spence refused to pay M.G. Instead, he handed the dealer a single bullet.
“This is your payment,” Spence said.
Darwish, who was carrying a realistic-looking BB gun in his waistband, flashed his weapon.
“He has a gun!” Spence said, and fired a single round. He struck Darwish in the neck, killing him, according to the arrest warrant.
A bystander who saw the incident called police. Spence, Seeger, and L.W. drove off in a white Mercedes-Benz, which belonged to L.W.’s grandmother, police said.
They spent the night at L.W.’s house. There, the girl later told authorities, the two suspects disassembled the weapon.
Darwish had been driving a blue Nissan. Another teenager, Tobias Picazo, 18, was in the car at the time of the shooting.
Mundy said the investigation was ongoing, but that, so far, the minors involved have not been charged.
None of the individuals involved was from Aventura, Major Michael Bentolila said during the news conference. The teens came to the city to make the exchange.