Suspect in Miami-Dade synagogue shooting just gave cops what they needed to arrest him

Carlints St. Louis
Carlints St. Louis Miami-Dade police

Police, using all methods of modern technology, were pretty certain they knew who shot a senior citizen execution-style just before he walked into temple in July.

The suspect received more than a dozen traffic citations while driving the vehicle that was recorded at the scene on surveillance tape. Police body-camera footage helped identify him during a recent traffic stop in which he was eventually let go. And records from cellphone towers placed him at or near the shooting scene around the time it took place.

But Carlints St. Louis’ biggest mistake was visiting the Hallandale Beach Police Department on Monday. There, the 30-year-old told police that his firearm had been stolen from his Chevrolet Impala. So police searched the car. And not only did the car match the one police were looking for — bullets in a loaded magazine in the car matched the ammunition that struck 68-year-old Yosef Lifshutz.

“He threw himself under the bus,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman Argmis Colome. “That was a good one. He basically carried the evidence with him.”

St. Louis was arrested Tuesday by Miami-Dade police and charged with attempted felony murder, discharging a weapon from a car and aggravated battery on a person over 65. He spent Tuesday night behind bars at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and was denied bond.

Despite St. Louis’ arrest, police did not identify a motive or say whether he’d eventually be charged with a hate crime.

On July 28, Lifshutz was walking toward the front doors of the Young Israel of Greater Miami Synagogue on Northeast 10th Avenue and 171st Street when, police say, St. Louis stepped out from the driver’s seat of his Impala and “assumed a shooting stance while pointing a firearm at the victim.”

Young Israel of Greater Miami identified the man who was shot July 28, 2019, as Yosef Lifshutz. Facebook

Lifshutz, who underwent surgery and is recovering, was shot six times. He was taken to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.

Stunned members of his congregation and the surrounding neighborhood voiced concerns over a possible hate crime.

St. Louis’ arrest report lists numerous accounts of case investigators linking him to the crime.

The Chevy Impala used at the crime scene was captured on surveillance video near the synagogue. A license plate reader identified the vehicle a few miles from the temple and though not taken into custody, St. Louis was identified during a traffic stop after the crime by a police body-worn camera, according to his arrest form.

The final straw was when police matched the ammunition found in the magazine of the Impala — that he drove to the Hallandale Beach police station this week — to the bullets that struck LIfshutz.

“An investigative review of the videos revealed multiple unique characteristics and the defendant was revealed as a possible suspect,” an officer wrote in the report.

Police records also indicated that St. Louis has been the only driver registered to the Impala since 2011 and that he has received 17 traffic citations while driving the car.

Police said St. Louis had not driven the Impala since July 31. Instead, police said, he’s been driving a Toyota Corolla and parking the Impala at his Hallandale Beach apartment complex. On Monday though, he broke that pattern, showing up at the police station in his Impala.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.