A man who is alleged to have shot two homeless people on Miami streets has been arrested, city officials announced Thursday.
Willy Maceo Suarez, 25, was arrested on allegations of murder and attempted murder, interim Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales said at a news conference.
It’s not clear whether Suarez has an attorney. The public defender’s office that serves the area didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Morales said a motive wasn’t clear.
Homeless people “have been brutally targeted” for no apparent reason, he said.
The investigation moved quickly after two homeless people were found shot about two hours apart Tuesday, Morales said. The first victim, discovered by people who flagged down police, was in a hospital's trauma unit in "extreme critical condition," he said.
A few miles north, someone reported a person "unresponsive on the ground" to authorities, the chief said. The man was declared dead at the scene.
Security video showed a black vehicle stop and someone shoot at the victim "several times," Morales said.
The incidents were quickly connected because of the time frame and the geography and because both victims were homeless, he said.
Security video helped detectives identify the vehicle’s make, model and license plate number and led to Suarez's arrest, Morales said.
Ballistics testing matched rounds used in both of Tuesday's attacks, he said.
When police found Suarez, he had a gun of a caliber used in both shootings, Morales said.
Police are trying to determine whether Suarez may also be connected to the fatal shooting of a homeless man downtown on Oct. 16. They say they lack physical evidence to tie him to the case.
An investigator said Suarez resembled a man considered a person of interest in that attack, which involved a similar car — a dark, late-model Dodge Charger, Morales said.
Detectives released security camera video to the public with the hope that someone could help identify the person in the images.
Police have reached out to other law enforcement organizations in South Florida to ask whether they have similar cases involving homeless people that are still open.