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2 men arrested 3 years after fatal shooting of graduate student in Miami

Brandon Figueroa, Jonathan Rivera-Gunera charged with first-degree murder

Brandon Figueroa, 23, (left) and Jonathan Rivera-Gunera, 21, face first-degree murder charges in the killing of Schiharia Aila Sai Kiran.
Brandon Figueroa, 23, (left) and Jonathan Rivera-Gunera, 21, face first-degree murder charges in the killing of Schiharia Aila Sai Kiran.

MIAMI – Two men were arrested this month in connection with the 2015 fatal shooting of a graduate student in Miami, authorities said.

Brandon Figueroa, 23, and Jonathan Rivera-Gunera, 21, face first-degree murder charges in the killing of Schiharia Aila Sai Kiran. 

According to detectives, Aila Sai Kiran, 22, was outside his apartment building at 1043 SW Sixth St., on June 14, 2015, talking on his cellphone.

Police said he was confronted by a gunman, who demanded his phone. The gunman shot Aila Sai Kiran multiple times after the victim struggled with him, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, detectives received information in July that Figueroa and Rivera-Gunera were involved in the shooting.

Figueroa was interviewed Aug. 7 and confessed to targeting the victim prior to the robbery, the arrest report stated.

Detectives said Figueroa claimed that the victim refused to give up his belongings, so he and Rivera-Gunera began to fight him.

Figueroa told detectives that Rivera-Gunera shot the victim after they were both overpowered by him, authorities said.

According to the arrest report, Rivera-Gunera told detectives a slightly different story, admitting to targeting the victim in a robbery, but claiming that he drove Figueroa to the location and ordered Figueroa to rob the victim.

Rivera-Gunera said he heard gunshots while waiting for Figueroa to return to the car and then drove away once Figueroa returned, the arrest report stated.

Both suspects were arrested on a first-degree murder charge.

Authorities said the victim was taken by Miami Fire Rescue to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition, but he died shortly after arriving.

Aila Sai Kiran, who was from India, was in the U.S. pursuing a graduate degree at Atlantis University in Miami.  


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