Top 7 Local Stories
WSVN -- 2012 in South Florida included some of the biggest talkers in recent memory. From rumors of a zombie apocalypse to a teen shooting that sparked national headlines. The nightteam's Craig Stevens takes a look back.
In 2012, a hoodie became a symbol of racial tension and outrage after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.
Neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self defense after the unarmed teenager attacked him. But police did not arrest Zimmerman and that sparked protests and school walkouts. Zimmerman was eventually charged with murder. His trial was set for 2013.
There was also terror on the Turnpike after a robbery suspect crashed a stolen car, then stalked drivers sitting in traffic.
The gunman shot a Key Biscayne police officer and an ICE agent before killing himself. Thankfully, both officers survived.
Miami-Dade's top cop who was the glue in the department after the 2011 shooting deaths of two officers retired this year.
Director James Loftus left after 29 years on the force to spend time with his family.
2012 brought justice for Michael Brewer.
The teenagers accused of setting him on fire were convicted. They will spend eight to ten years in prison for what they did.
Deerfield Beach teenager Wayne Treacy will spend 20 years behind bars for attacking 15-year-old Josie Ratley, after almost kicking her to death.
At the University of Florida, a student from Miami-Dade disappeared. Volunteers searched for days, and then heart-breaking news was announced.
Eighteen-year-old Christian Aguilar was found dead in a field near Gainesville. Police said Pedro Bravo, a former classmate from Doral Academy, poisoned and then suffocated him. He has been charged with murder.
A deportation drama for a star student at North Miami Senior High sparked a national debate on the Dream Act.
Daniella Pelaez faced being sent back to her native Colombia. But after a massive fight both here and in Washington he and her sister were allowed to stay for another two years.
Tragedies on the job this past year.
First in Medley, a worker fell into a silo filled with concrete mix after the roof he was standing on collapsed.
Then a few months later, a parking garage under construction at Miami-Dade College's West Campus in Doral came crashing down killing four workers.
But truly, the most shocking and talked about story of the year was that of a naked man attacking and nearly chewing off the face of a homeless man as cars whizzed by on the MacArthur Causeway.
Police were forced to shoot and kill Rudy Eugene as he ravaged Ronald Popo. Poppo is facing a long recovery. To this day, police still don't know what provoked the cannibal attack. Only marijuana was found in Eugene's system.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)