A Miami-Dade detective on a narcotics detail in the county’s north end shot and killed a man who was on probation for armed robbery Thursday after a brief confrontation behind an apartment complex in which police said the man drew a weapon.
Kentrill William Carraway, 22, was transported to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died Thursday evening. Five other men who were with Carraway when he was shot were being interviewed at Miami-Dade police headquarters late Thursday.
“The male produced a firearm from his waistband,” Miami-Dade Detective Marjorie Eloi said. “The officer was in fear for his safety.”
Police said the officer was George Eugene, a nine-year veteran in his 30s and a plainclothes detective in the Northside District’s gang unit.
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Carraway, who would have turned 23 next week, was not supposed to be carrying a weapon as part of probation he received from a 2013 armed robbery. In April 2014, a Miami-Dade judge sentenced him to probation as “youthful offender” and he was granted a withhold of adjudication.
That means that despite a plea agreement or a sentence, he was able to avoid a felony conviction. Still, in January, a law enforcement source said, he was accused of violating probation. Why wasn’t clear Thursday.
Early Thursday evening, police continued to search for evidence and interview potential witnesses at the shooting scene. A Miami-Dade police helicopter circled overhead taking snapshots and kids at a basketball court at nearby Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center shot hoops.
An ice cream truck circled just past the yellow police tape blocking off the scene, playing music.
Friends of Carraway’s at the shooting site at Northwest 76th Street and 20th Avenue said he had one daughter and was one of 10 brothers and sisters. They described him as happy-go-lucky and said he loved to dance.
“Every time you see him, he would just bust out dancing,” said one friend named Kiara.
The neighborhood is residential, made up mostly of two-story townhomes and single-family homes. Many of the townhomes had their front windows protected by hurricane shutters at a time of year when the sun has begun to blaze.
Some residents at the scene said that serves two purposes: It cools down homes without air conditioning, and it protects residents from gunfire. Gunfire, said some residents, has been problematic the past year.
“Kids can’t even play outside anymore. It’s not safe,” said one woman who didn’t offer her name.
The shooting scene was only a block from where Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker lost his life in March after the dirt bike he was riding collided with a Ford Escape.
The deadly shooting by a Miami-Dade officer was the second in the past month. In April, police shot and killed a Louisiana man who stole a car, kidnapped his ex-wife and drove her to a wooded area in deep South Miami-Dade. When police caught up to the man, they said he was wielding a shotgun.
Eloi, the Miami-Dade detective, said it was just before 4 p.m. when Eugene and a group of gang unit detectives were combing the area on a narcotics investigation. She said Eugene and at least one other officer saw Carraway and a group of friends sitting under a tree behind a townhome.
As the officer approached and gave a verbal command, Eloi said, Carraway reached into his waistband and grabbed a gun. Eugene fired his weapon, striking Carraway. No one else was injured during the confrontation. Eloi said police recovered a weapon and that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting the investigation.
Though Carraway was spotted on the townhome property, Eloi couldn’t say exactly where the shooting took place. The area behind the townhome is not fenced in. It also wasn’t clear Thursday why Eugene gave a command or what he said.
Miami Herald Staff Writer Alex Harris contributed to this report.