Family of bicyclist killed in Rickenbacker Causeway shooting say he wasn't violent

Alex Palencia survived by ex-wife, 2 daughters

MIAMI – Many questions remain surrounding the fatal shooting of a bicyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami. Why did it happen? Was it self-defense, as claimed by the gunman? On Thursday, Local 10 News spoke with the family of the cyclist, who gave their take on the matter.

"This is a shock, a shock. We're just distraught and still in disbelief," Alex Palencia's ex-wife, Iris Kennedy, said. 

Kennedy and the two children she shares with Palencia were stunned after receiving news that the 49-year-old had been fatally shot Wednesday morning.

Police said Palencia was on his bike with a group of other riders, going over the Rickenbacker Causeway, when Kadel Piedrahita rode up on his motorcycle.


Several cyclists said Piedrahita often livestreams the group on Facebook and provides commentary as they race. But for some reason, things took a turn during Wednesday's ride.

Video shows Palencia raise his hand as Piedrahita rides up to the group, and the two argue before the motorcycle hits the ground. 

The next thing that happens is unclear. There's some sort of scuffle, and then Piedrahita shoots Palencia.

"There's various witnesses that are claiming different things -- that they saw different things," Piedrahita's attorney, Sabino Jauregui, said. 

Jauregui said his client acted in self-defense.

But Palencia's family said they've watched the videos of what happened and don't believe he'd ever be an aggressor.

"He loved his kids," Kennedy said. "He was easygoing, not (a) violent person ever. He never got into a fight. I mean, I've known him since 1995 when he moved here from Cuba. Never seen him in a fight, never."

Palencia was a father of two teenagers, and we're told he actually had a ticket booked to go visit his mother in Cuba two weeks from now.

Miami police said they are working closely with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office in the investigation, but no charges have been filed at this point.

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