Luis Alberto Basalo, the man wanted for a double shooting in Coral Gables on Halloween night, was taken into custody by police Friday morning at his mother’s Miami home.
Basalo, 18, is believed to be the gunman who shot a teenage couple after ordering them to pull over on a Coral Gables street. The 19-year-old man was shot in the elbow and the thigh. His girlfriend, 17, was shot in the knee. The couple has not been named.
Basalo, who turned 18 Thursday, was found by Miami’s gang squad and Coral Gables police early Friday morning at his mom’s home at 2101 NW 18th St. He’s been charged with two counts of attempted murder, armed carjacking and possessing a firearm while committing a felony. Witnesses said he gave up without a fight.
“We caught him going to his mom’s home and he surrendered,” said Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak.
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The alleged carjacking on Oct. 31 by Basalo set off a small crime spree. The same car that police say he stole from the couple, a black, 2007 Infiniti G35, was identified as the car that purposely hit a teen on a bicycle near Miami Jackson High School the day after Halloween. Police said the car’s license tag had been changed.
The victim in that incident, who escaped on foot and unharmed, identified one of the two people inside the Infiniti. He told police two people got out of the Infiniti and pointed guns at him before he ran away. On Nov. 4, police showed up at Jackson and arrested Jason Villatoro, 17, and charged him with aggravated assault with a firearm. Police have not said if they believe Basalo was the second person in that alleged assault.
While patting down Villatoro at Jackson, police discovered a gun tucked into his pants. Police have not said if that was the same weapon they believe Basalo used to shoot the couple in Coral Gables.
Coral Gables police, who considered Basalo dangerous and warned the public not to come into contact with him, say the crime spree began about 10 p.m. Oct. 31 when the 19-year-old shooting victim went to the Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami to pick up his girlfriend. Basalo, police said, approached the car and asked for a ride saying he was stranded. Four other friends also jumped into the car.
As the car approached LeJeune Road on U.S. 1, Basalo is alleged to have pulled out a gun and ordered the man to pull over. When the car reached the 400 block of Rosaro Avenue near Menendez Avenue, the 19-year-old and his girlfriend were tossed out of the car.
But before they got far , they told police, Basalo fired at them, striking the man in the elbow and the thigh, and the girl in the knee. Basalo and his four friends — two males and two females between 17 and 19— sped off. The couple is still recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
Catching Basalo became a priority for Gables police, who teamed with gang units from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and Miami police. Hudak led a press conference Thursday in Coral Gables, providing a picture of Basalo and warning the public to keep a distance. He was captured 15 hours later.
“It is only a matter of luck that these two young victims were not fatally assaulted,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.