Police investigate fatal stabbing at northwest Miami-Dade apartment complex

Witness says man stabbed another man on second-floor breezeway

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Madeleine Wright - Reporter, Andrew Perez - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Police are investigating a fatal stabbing at a northwest Miami-Dade County apartment complex.

Miami-Dade police were at the scene of the Silverado Apartments on Northwest 17th Avenue early Friday. 

"My son say, 'Hey Daddy, there's a police car outside.' So we peep out the window. We saw the police," Wilfred Jean, who lives at the apartment complex, said. "We opened the door. They wouldn't let you out, because they have put the tape right to the door."

A witness told Local 10 News that a man stabbed another man, Walter Ortiz Espinal, 33, in the neck on a second-floor breezeway.

"I seen the dude down there bleeding, so I went and called the police and told them, 'Look, somebody just got stabbed,'" a witness, who wanted to remain anonymous, said. 

The witness said the stabbing happened after three men started arguing on the first floor of the apartment complex. 

He said the argument continued upstairs, where it turned violent.

"When he slapped him, that's when Nino went over, like an overhand punch, and stabbed him on the chest. I mean, it wasn't no extra stabbing. He stabbed him one time in the neck," the witness said. 

Espinal's mother told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez that her son intervened because he heared one of the men cursing at his mother.

"He feels like when you disrespect your mother, he feels like it's disrespecting his own mother," Mireyda Pena said. 

Pena said her son worked as a maintenance worker at the apartment complex and also lived there. She said he worked hard because he wanted a better life for his family both here and in Honduras. 

Local 10 was at the scene as one man was being taken into custody.

The victim's body was also seen being removed from the breezeway.

"I feel sorry for the one that lost his life, because he had to lose his life. I feel like it could have been stopped," the witness said. 

Authorities confirmed that Espinal was killed about 11:54 p.m. Thursday. Police said they have spoken with the person who stabbed Espinal, but want to speak with witnesses or anyone who has more information.

The stabbing happened at the same apartment complex where a man was found shot to death in February 2015.

Anyone with details about Espinal's killing is asked to call Detective R. Mascarena at 305-471-2400 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest. 

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