Man fatally shot by victim after stealing Mercedes-Benz from car wash, police say

Suspect crashed stolen SUV inside Office Depot in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A man has died after he was shot Tuesday morning while stealing a Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV from a car wash in Miami Beach, authorities said. 

Police said the incident was reported near the Venetian Causeway, just west of Alton Road and 18th Street.

According to authorities, the suspect was shot by the owner of the Mercedes-Benz, Stephen A. Lott, 48, who witnessed his vehicle being stolen. 

Sky 10 was above the scene shortly after 10:30 a.m. after the white SUV had crashed into an Office Depot. A black vehicle also appeared to be damaged in the crash. 

"I looked back and I saw, like, a car into the wall and there was debris flying everywhere," witness Elizabeth Szkolnik said. 

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Another witness told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez that the suspect had been shot in the head. 

Police later surrounded the Mercedes-Benz, broke the windows and pulled out the suspect, who was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he later died. 

"Not only did it crash into the side of the Office Depot. You see a hole in the wall due to the size of the vehicle. It actually struck one of the FPL power poles," Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said. "So as we were trying to make contact with the occupant inside, we also had to simultaneously call FPL to ensure the power in that area was shut off and the poles were de-energized, which takes some time." 

Authorities had asked the public to avoid the area and for those inside buildings nearby to remain inside prior to them reaching the suspect.

Rodriguez said Lott was interviewed by detectives and has since been released from custody.

He said investigators will continue reviewing evidence and will work with the Miami-Dade County state attorney's office to determine whether charges will be filed.

The suspect's identity has not been released. 

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