Domestic dispute ends in fatal shooting and crash
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A horrific wreck marked the end of more than an hour of terror after a man opened fire on two women inside a home, killing them, and then took off, killing an innocent driver, before he too died.
Wednesday afternoon, police identified the man responsible for the trail of death as Antonio J. Feliu. The two women, identified as 51-year-old Vivian Gallego Martinez and her daughter, 28-year-old Anabel Benitez, died at their home in the Hammocks neighborhood. Police said Feliu fled and later crashed with a sedan in Broward County, killing an innocent driver. Family members contacted 7News to identify that victim as 47-year-old Maritza Millan Medina, of Pembroke Pines, who had been married for 25 years.
It all began at around 9 a.m., when police received a call about a double shooting inside an efficiency at a home located off Southwest 124th Avenue and 190th Street. When police and emergency crews responded to the scene, they found Martinez dead and the her daughter wounded. Benitez was transported with critical injuries to Kendall Regional Hospital, where she later died. "We received 911 calls of shots fired within that residence," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. "Once officers responded is when they found two females that were suffering from apparent gunshot wounds."
According to a neighbor, the mother and daughter were shot by the mother's disgruntled boyfriend. Following a description from a witness, police began to pursue the suspected shooter in a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle. "One of the witnesses was able to give a description of a black Mercedes leaving the scene after the shots were heard," said Zabaleta. "Officers were able to locate a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect's vehicle."
A chase ensued that passed Southwest Eighth Street on Krome Avenue and continued on US 27 northbound. The subject traveled at a high rate of speed, dodging vehicles and crashing into street signs.
The chase came to an end when the subject's vehicle crossed a red light and collided into another vehicle at Griffin Road in West Broward. The other driver, Millan, was ejected from her vehicle and was later pronounced dead on the scene. "It's tragic," said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. "Our hearts go out to her and her family and the people in Miami-Dade County that got hurt."
As deputies approached the subject's vehicle, shots were fired from inside the vehicle. Despite the danger, a BSO deputy and a Miami-Dade police officer retrieved Millan's body from the scene and took her away in a patrol car, but she had already passed away.
Following the shots fired, officers called for the SWAT team. Israel said as many as four SWAT teams worked in conjunction to respond to the crash site. These included teams from the Broward Sheriff's Office, Davie Police, Miami-Dade Police and Pembroke Pines Police.
Four armored SWAT vehicles arrived on the scene, surrounded the vehicle and shot out the back window. "Our SWAT team fired ... basically a baton," said Israel. "We fired that at the back window so as to see what was going on inside the vehicle, so our deputies can make a decision."
SWAT members discovered the subject dead inside. "Eventually SWAT operators entered the vehicle," said Israel. "The driver of the vehicle was deceased. It appeared to be from a gunshot wound."
Israel would not confirm if Feliu died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. "There was a gunshot wound to the subject," he said. "The suspect is deceased."
Late Wednesday afternoon, US 27 northbound between Sheridan Street and Griffin Road remains shut down. All southbound lanes have been reopened. BSO has set up a mobile command post at the intersection of the crash.
All day, family and friends have been gathering at Medina's home in Pembroke Pines, trying to come to grips with this senseless tragedy. "She was a great person," Andrew Medina, the victim's nephew, said. "She had no bad karma. She never did nothing bad to nobody. She was a 46-year-old lady that just was a housewife. She loved doing what she did. She loved the family. She was a family person. She was always here for us."
Medina had just dropped her daughter off at school and was on her way home when her car was suddenly struck. Her heartbroken family are still in shock. Damarys Medina, the victim's daughter, said, "My dad came to my school when I was at lunch, and I was in the office, and he came rushing in. He was crying, and I knew from then something was wrong."
When asked if she hugged her mother goodbye, she said, "No, it was just like, 'Goodbye Mom.' You know, you don't know when you're gonna really see her for the last time."
Back at the scene of the original crime, police continue to work the area. Neighbors were beside themselves in disbelief of the news. Rebeca Capelo said she knew the mother and daughter. "I went to school with her daughter. I know them pretty well, and it's incredible to know that somebody that I was close to, that I live around, was killed."
MDPD said Feliu was the estranged boyfriend of Martinez. They noted that they had never been called to the home in the past. Neighbors called the mother and daughter loving and quiet.
One resident said he had never seen that Mercedes SUV at the home before, but he knew of Feliu. "The guy, the one who was in the chase this morning, I saw him there Monday," said the resident, "and they said they saw him here yesterday in the afternoon. I wasn't here. I was working, but I heard he was there yesterday afternoon, so from Monday to now, something else must have happened because I've never seen that car there before."
Clinton Woodson, a neighbor, said, "I seen the Mercedes, and I told my wife, 'Mm, somebody got a brand new SUV. I see the temporary tags on it.' I try to pay attention to things that pass by here ... It's shocking to wake up and hear something like this. I hate to see this in any neighborhood."
Mike Rivas, another neighbor, reiterated Woodson's feelings. "It's shocking just to hear stuff like that. It makes you really, really think about who your neighbors are."
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