Marijuana plants seized at home of man involved in deadly shooting, crash
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade Police detectives found a fully operational hydroponics lab inside the home of the South Florida man involved in a deadly shooting and police chase that claimed the lives of three women and ended with his suicide, investigators said.
Authorities made the discovery while conducting an investigation of 48-year-old Antonio Feliu's home at 2020 SW 100th Ave. Thursday. Narcotics investigators seized 43 marijuana plants with a street level value of approximately $107,500.
"They've been in that house probably a year, a year and a half," said Leo Valdes, whose parents live across the street. "Him and a lady, I suspect it was the same lady."
The finding comes one day after Feliu shot and killed his estranged girlfriend and her daughter at their home, located off Southwest 124th Avenue and 190th Street in Southwest Miami-Dade. A third victim died when she just happened to cross paths with the suicidal killer, who would shoot himself as police closed in following a deadly crash in Broward County.
On Thursday, relatives of the victims were left to pick up the pieces. Several family members of 51-year-old Vivian Gallego Martinez and 28-year-old Anabel Benitez removed personal items from the efficiency, including televisions and other items in bags.
"We were born in Cuba, and we went together to school, what can I say?" Boris Anoceto said, as he remembered his friend. "Such a family. It has been hard."
"Beautiful," he said. "Beautiful, great mother, great daughter. Beautiful, the relationship between them."
Anoceto said he knew nothing of the ex-boyfriend and accused shooter, Antonio Feliu. "I don't know. I don't know nothing about him."
The domestic double murder served as the jumping off point of a trail of tragedy that also took the life of an innocent bystander as Feliu sped away from pursuing police on U.S. 27, in Broward County. Forty-seven-year-old Maritza Millan Medina died when Feliu ran a red light and T-boned her sedan.
Police are still trying to figure out a motive for the shooting. Ana Deamas was one neighbor who saw the police response that morning. "And all I see is [police] running in," she said. "Everybody's running in ... police and emergency, paramedics, everybody."
Martinez would be pronounced dead on the scene and Benitez was transported with critical injuries to Kendall Regional Hospital, where she later died.
Those who knew Benitez from her job at a Kendall area restaurant said she is missed. "It's very somber in there," Tony Mellado said. "It's a horrific tragedy."
"She was very kind, very sweet lady," Richard Ramirez said. "Always smiling at me."
Following a description from a witness, police began to pursue the suspected shooter in a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle. A chase ensued that passed Southwest Eighth Street on Krome Avenue and continued on U.S. 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 jumped 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 at the scene of the crash. "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. 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."
Feliu's neighbors were surprised that a man who seemed to blend in so well was allegedly involved in drugs, murder and a deadly chase. "What's happening right now, you know, is unbelievable," Arnoldo Rafuls said. "Nobody's secure here, you know? You don't know what's going to happen from one minute to another. Innocent people, they dying."
One resident said he had never seen that Mercedes SUV at the victims 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."
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