Coral Gables police named the man suspected of shooting a couple on a residential street Halloween evening, calling him “very violent” and warning residents to avoid him.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon at the police station, Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak said Luis Alberto Basalo — who turned 18 Thursday — shot the couple as they were running away, then stole their 2007 Infiniti G35 and took off with four friends.
Hudak wouldn’t name the shooting victims. He said they were both under 18 and still recovering in the hospital.
“We’re asking for the entire community’s help getting someone very violent off the streets,” said Hudak. “He’s known to local law enforcement and he has a violent criminal past.”
Criminal records for Basalo, who Hudak alleged committed crimes as a juvenile, weren’t available Thursday and Coral Gables police weren’t sharing the records with the public. Hudak called Basalo “a person of interest” in several other crimes.
The chief said the four teenagers — two males and two females between the ages of 17 and 19 — who took off in the Infiniti with Basalo have all been identified. None have been charged with a crime.
Hudak said the stolen Infiniti was recovered in Miami earlier this week with the help of Miami police. He said the license plate had been changed and that Basalo is aware he’s being sought by law enforcement. Police said his last known address was in the 2100 block of Northwest 18th Street.
“We have to get him off the street,” he said.
According to police, the male victim had driven to The Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami to pick up his girlfriend some time before 10 p.m. on Oct. 31, and were on their way to a Halloween party when someone asked for a ride. The couple said sure, and as they were about to leave four other teenagers jumped into the car.
As the group of seven headed north on U.S. 1 and just before reaching LeJeune Road, Basalo is alleged to have pulled out a gun and ordered the driver to get off the highway. When they reached the 400 block of Rosaro Avenue near Menendez Avenue, just off LeJeune Road, the couple were tossed from the car.
As they ran, police said, Basalo fired his weapon, striking them both. Basalo and his four friends then took off in the Infiniti. The couple were transported by paramedics to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Some residents witnessed at least part of the scene.
Alfredo Lopez Gomez and his wife heard three or four gunshots, looked out a window and saw a body on the street. Fortunately, the couple said, it was after 10 p.m. and the street was empty of kids trick or treating.
“We saw the man lying in the middle of the street. The woman was about 20 or 30 meters from him, and both were bleeding,” said Gomez.
Basalo is facing charges that include two counts of attempted murder and carjacking.