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Police catch shoplifter wanted in Hialeah crime that left 2 girls injured from shooting

Security guard, mother charged previously for July 28 incident

MIAMI, Fla. – Police have arrested the man involved in the shoplifting at a Hialeah supermarket that led to a security guard shooting at a getaway car, two young girls being injured, and a mother charged with child neglect, theft and making false reports to police.

Hialeah Police said Steadman Amaya stole $200 worth of lobster tails from the Rey Chave Distributor in Hialeah on Tuesday, July 28. Amaya, a convicted felon, has been on the run ever since.

During the day of the theft, Amaya jumped into a Toyota Corolla that was parked outside of the store and the car sped away from scene. That’s when 50-year-old Leonard Morales, who was working as a security guard at the distributor, fired his gun at the car. Two children inside were injured — a 6-year-old girl was shot in the knee and her 8-year-old sister suffered a cut in her thigh after the window shattered.

The shooting was caught on surveillance video outside of the store at 780 W. 17th St.

The security guard was arrested and charged.

Police also arrested the mother of the two girls, Angela Pupo, who initially told police her daughters were shot while they drove through Miami-Dade, but she later admitted it was all part of a shoplifting scheme with Amaya.

Amaya was arrested after Miami police tried to stop him on Wednesday while he was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer that had been reported stolen. He fled from officers, but he was eventually taken into custody.

During that investigation, police identified him as the man wanted in the July incident.

Pupo is charged with making false reports to law enforcement authorities, in addition to two counts of child neglect and petit theft.

Morales was initially facing two counts of attempted manslaughter with a deadly weapon and one count of shooting a deadly missile, but police announced that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office decided to upgrade the attempted manslaughter counts to attempted second-degree murder.

Amaya faces multiple charges from the July incident and from subsequent crimes he committed while police were searching for him.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.