Cops have arrested two young men in connection with the stray-bullet death of a teenage girl in West Miami-Dade — but say the shooting suspect has fled the country.
Miami-Dade police on Friday announced the arrests of Loidel Gomez-Rouco, 20, and Mario Conley-Hernandez, 22, on charges of accessory after the fact to the murder of 16-year-old Ana Alvarez-Hernandez. She was mortally wounded when a gunman fired a rifle into a crowd of young people hanging out in the parking lot of the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant early on Sunday.
The department did not name the shooting suspect or to what country he fled.
The scene of the crime was the parking lot of the popular restaurant adjacent to Miami International Airport, where more than 50 people had gathered after hours in the parking lot. According to arrest reports released Friday, the violence stemmed from a broken beer bottle being thrown in the direction of Gomez-Rouco and Conley-Hernandez.
In response, one of their “associates” fired a rifle several times in the air. The suspected shooter took the rifle back to the trunk of Gomez-Rouco’s car and reloaded.
Another set of people in the crowd walked up and confronted the group over “the shooter discharging the rifle recklessly.” One of those persons slapped the shooter in the face, police said. Conley-Hernandez grabbed the rifle and fired a warning shot in the air, police said.
The unnamed shooter then grabbed the rifle away from Conley-Hernandez and began firing at the people running away. Gomez-Rouco, Conley-Hernandez, the shooter and another man hopped into Gomez-Rouco’s car and sped away, police said.
One of the bullets killed Alvarez-Hernandez, a Coral Gables High student who was at the hangout with her boyfriend.
Later that night, Gomez-Rouco saw on the TV news that the girl had died. He called the shooter, who told him he’d just bought an airline ticket to leave the country. Records showed the shooter flew out of the country on Tuesday, police said.
Miami-Dade police say Gomez-Rouco “purposefully” failed to call police when he learned of the man’s flight from justice. Conley-Hernandez is accused of accessory for not telling police about seeing the shooter fire the weapon.