SW Miami-Dade Walmart shooting may have been over social-distancing, witnesses say

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Homicide detectives are still working on trying to find out what led up to a fatal shooting inside a Walmart in the Westchester area of Southwest Miami-Dade. But witnesses and customers are telling Local 10 that it may have been the result of a disagreement over COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions inside the store.

“There is a possibility that it was about distancing," one witness told Local 10.

The chaos ensued just before 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Todo el mundo corriendo (Everybody running),” Larry Vedo, one of the shoppers inside, said. “I just heard two gunshots,” Angel Martinez, an employee of the store, said. Magaly Gonzalez, another employee, said: “We just heard a shot. That’s it and everybody ran out of the store.”

Miami Dade police arrived within minutes to find one man dead. Detectives said he was shot by another customer.

“We have two adult males that were engaged in some sort of altercation, which escalated leading to shots being fired,” Miami-Dade Police Detective Angel Rodriguez said.

Yvette Nylund, a registered nurse, said she ran out of the store with dozens of customers and employees, but when she heard someone was still inside with serious injuries, she grabbed her medical equipment and went back inside to help.

“Police were right there with me and we started CPR,” Nylund recalled.

Shoppers like Marlene San Miguel rushed into a stock room with her husband and hid with another employee, worried that the shooter was still inside.

She said they waited until they were given the all-clear to evacuate.

Anna Grant, a witness inside the store, said. “It is scary because we are tense already as it is. We need to try to get along.”

Yellow tape blocked off the parking lot and we watched as crime-scene technicians removed several bags of evidence from inside the store. In the back of a police cruiser sat the gunman who, investigators said, waited for officers to arrive.

“The individual that shot did not try to flee the location of the scene,” Rodriguez said.

Detectives are right now working to find out if the shooter and the victim knew one another and find out what —officially — led up to this shooting.

We are also working on getting the names of both men.

A representative of Walmart, Amber March, issued a statement about the shooting to Local 10:

“We are shocked and saddened by today’s incident and will do everything possible to assist police in their investigation. Our hearts go out to those close to the victim and those affected by the events of this morning.”

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.