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A Florida real estate agent has been arrested and police are accusing him of being a serial killer who targeted homeless victims.
Willy Suarez Maceo, 25, was arrested on Thursday after police tied him to one murder and one attempted murder committed earlier in the week, according to a press conference by the Miami Police Department. Police also named Maceo a suspect in the Oct. 16, 2021 murder of a third individual, prompting authorities to label Maceo as a suspected serial killer.
All three victims were homeless individuals.
Miami Interim Police Chief Manual Morales gave a timeline of events leading up to Maceo’s Dec. 23 arrest. On Tuesday, a witness flagged down a police officer at around 8:00 p.m. after they found a person suffering from what initially looked like blunt force trauma.
“The investigation quickly revealed that the victim was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head,” said Morales, who noted the victim was in “extreme critical condition.”
Two hours later, authorities responded to a 911 call made a complainant who found an unresponsive Black male on the ground, Morales continued. The victim was dead by the time responders arrived at the scene. He, too, had sustained a gunshot wound.
The Miami Herald reported the second victim as 56-year-old Jerome Antonio Price.
“The investigation began,” said Morales. “Officers quickly connected the two incidents, not only because of the short span of time between the two shootings but because both incidents involved victims that were homeless.”
Investigators obtained surveillance video that captured the latter shooting. According to Morales, the suspect drove a black vehicle up to the victim, who was lying on the ground, and shot him multiple times.
Police were able to identify Maceo from the vehicle’s model and license plate number.
Ballistic experts determined the same gun was used in both crimes, according to Chief Morales. When police found Maceo, he was in possession of a firearm with a matching caliber.
The gun was a 9 mm Glock purchased by Maceo in January 2018, according to police reports cited by the Miami Herald. Shell casings were also found in the defendant’s possession.
After police took Maceo into custody, an investigator at the station noticed a resemblance between the suspect and a still shot of a suspect from another murder that occurred on Oct. 16, 2021, according to Morales. Morales stated the victim, who was also homeless, was “horrifically murdered.”
The City of Miami Police Department published the still shot of the October murder suspect in November. According to the Herald, the victim in the case was identified as 59-year-old Manuel Perez.
“The resemblance led us to believe that there was a possible connection and this individual [Maceo] is connected,” said Morales.
On Friday, Maceo was charged with one count of premeditated attempted murder, according to Miami Herald. At the press conference, Morales said Maceo would be charged at a later time for Tuesday’s murder.
Maceo was ordered held without bond.
Assistant Public Defender Kendal Rinko defended Maceo at Friday’s court appearance.
“Mr. Maceo is never seen carrying out the shooting in this case or being present in the vehicle during the shooting at issue in this case,” said Rinko.
In denying the bond, Circuit Judge Alberto Milian cited a “peculiar pattern” of “execution-style” attacks, according to the Herald.
Chief Morales called the murders “senseless” and appealed to other law enforcement agencies to reach out if they had other cases involving a similar pattern. Anyone with information can contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
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