Friday, November 11, 2011
Out for Justice: Michael Pineiro
Michael Pineiro was only 19 years old when a cowardly killer shot him in the back. As Channel 7's Patrick Fraser tells us in tonight's Out for Justice, three years later, Miami Gardens Police have few clues. But they hope tonight's story will help change that.
WSVN -- Michael Pineiro wanted to be one of the good guys, wanted to wear a gun and a badge.
Maria Andujar, Cousin: "He was going to the University of Phoenix to get his associates in criminal justice. He told me he wanted to be a cop. He wanted to be an officer."
Now, Michael's family is involved with law enforcement, watching detectives try to find out who murdered him.
Engelina Andujar, Cousin: "I loved him with all my heart. They killed him."
On Oct. 7, 2008, Michael was sitting at this bus stop on Miami Gardens Drive and 441.
911 operators got the calls.
Caller: "They shot him. He's on the, on the side of the road."
Operator: "Is he near the bus stop, sir?"
Caller: "He's on the bus stop. They came from behind him."
People had heard the gunshots and ran to help Michael.
Detective Steve Parr, Miami Gardens Police: "When they came back to the bus bench, they saw the victim slumped over near the roadway, suffering from a gunshot wound."
Patrick Fraser: "Michael was not robbed. Someone just came up, shot him once in the back and ran away. For a detective, that can create a problem."
Detective Steve Parr: "The problem with this particular case is, we don't have any eyewitnesses, so we're not sure of the motive. And of course, if you don't know why, it's very difficult to figure out who."
The people who rushed to help Michael did see three kids who may have witnessed the killing.
Detective Steve Parr: "Young kids, backpacks, maybe school uniforms, mid-teens, black males who were seen fleeing from the bus bench area who never came forward. I don't believe they're involved in it, but they have not come forward."
Michael's family lost a loved one. Of course they can't get him back, but they would at least like to get some questions answered.
Maria Andujar: "We want to know who did this to him. He was only 19, so they took his life away, and he had so much life to give us."
Michael's own father was murdered. It was his aunts, uncles and cousins who took him in and raised him who are now left to suffer.
Maria Andujar: "It's been three years already, and they don't know who killed him."
Engelina Andujar: "I reminisce. I remember how he used to dance, and you know, it just reallly hurts that he's gone."
He is gone and shouldn't be. The killer got away and shouldn't have.
Detective Parr: "This kind of stuff is going to continue to happen unless people will call us. The police can do something, but we have to have a little information, something to work with."
Three kids may have seen the killer. Three kids may be able to help a family.
Alex Andujar, Michael's Uncle: "I know somebody saw that day. They're just scared, or maybe they've been harrassed, but there's always a way."
Patrick Fraser: "Three years have gone by. One anonymous phone call can help a grieving family. If you know anything about the person who shot 19-year-old Michael Pineiro in the back, if you know why they may have done it, make that phone call to Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers. Also, if you fear people have forgotten about a loved one that was murdered, give us a call and discover how many people are still Out for Justice."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: 305-471-TIPS
Out For Justice: 305-598-HELP (4357)
Miami-Dade or 954-796-HELP (4357) in Broward