Crime

Police try to link Leisure City shooting to Homestead home invasion

This is the South Miami-Dade house where a woman was shot after she exited her car as two home invaders tried to steal her purse.
This is the South Miami-Dade house where a woman was shot after she exited her car as two home invaders tried to steal her purse. rkoltun@elnuevoherald.com

Miami-Dade police are trying to link a pair of violent home invaders to a shooting in Leisure City that left a woman with several gunshot wounds clinging to life.

Isalia Hernandez, 33, was assaulted by two men in front of her home just after 3 a.m. Thursday as she was getting out of her car. She lost a wrestling match for her purse and was shot several times. Paramedics airlifted her to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where she remains in critical condition.

Only three hours earlier and less than three miles away, Homestead residents were startled when a woman knocked on their front door, then two men pushed their way into the home, police said. The invaders overturned furniture and pulled drawers apart looking for drugs and guns, at one point sticking an AK-47 under the chin of a victim to try to intimidate him.

Later Thursday morning, Homestead police arrested two men they say matched the descriptions of the home invaders. And Miami-Dade police, who say the descriptions also match the Leisure City shooters, were looking into whether the same duo also shot Hernandez.

“We have to wait. We need lab and physical evidence, like residue on the hands,” to match up the crimes, Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.

Wallace Earl Brooks, 23, was charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm and with a bench warrant related to an earlier marijuana arrest. Walter Charles Luckett, 26, was charged with home invasion with a firearm, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and possession of marijuana. Both men live at 30310 SW 149th Ave. They were taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where they remain without bail.

The duo have extensive arrest records but few convictions, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

Brooks has been arrested at least seven times since 2009 by Miami-Dade and Homestead police on charges that include burglary, domestic violence and possession of pot. All the charges were dropped or dismissed. State records show Luckett was arrested several times since 2006, with convictions for robbery with a firearm in 2009 and attempted robbery a year later.

According to police and witness accounts, it was a little after midnight Thursday when a Homestead man watching TV at his home heard a knock on his door and saw a woman through the front window. When he cracked open the door, Brooks and Luckett burst inside, police said.

Both had weapons and at one point one of them placed the muzzle of the AK-47 under the man’s chin and demanded money and drugs. They threatened others in the home and ransacked the place. Then they took off on foot.

About three hours later, police said Hernandez was shot several times in front of her home. She managed to make it to her front porch and yell for help, Miami Herald news partner CBS4 reported.

“I heard screams, then I came out and I called 911,” her nephew Daniel Hernandez said.

Shortly after the shooting, a Homestead officer who was called to assist heard dogs barking and saw an older model, white Ford Crown Victoria pass by at Southwest 304th Street and 152nd Avenue, police said. Two men in the back seat ducked. When officers pulled the car over, they found Brooks and Luckett in the back seat and a gun on the floor.

The Homestead arrest affidavit said the two men matched the description of the suspects of the home invasion robbery in Homestead and the shooting in Leisure City. In the car, according to police: weed and teeth grills hidden inside a sock, and a .762-caliber round from an AK-47.

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