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2 men arrested in killing at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino garage

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a man in a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino garage back in July, Seminole Tribe police say.

And it was information provided by their alleged getaway driver that ultimately led to their arrests.

Dion Brown, 21, and Jaleel Arnett Thomas, 25, will face charges of felony murder with a firearm in the death of Pierre Jules LaCroze, 37, a North Lauderdale father of three, according to court records.

The killing took place at about 12:30 a.m. July 16 on the sixth floor in the Winner’s Way parking garage, investigators said.

Thomas was arrested Nov. 24 in Fort Lauderdale and is being held without bond in the Broward County Jail, authorities say.

Brown was arrested Wednesday near Orlando and is being held without bond in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford. He will be transported to Broward County, where both suspects are expected to stand trial, the Seminole tribe says.

Dion Brown, 21, and Jaleel Arnett Thomas, 25, were arrested in connection with the killing of a North Lauderdale man at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in July.
Dion Brown, 21, and Jaleel Arnett Thomas, 25, were arrested in connection with the killing of a North Lauderdale man at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in July. (Corrections photos)

Surveillance video and images released after the shooting showed three persons of interest, and the victim’s mother had pleaded for those responsible to come forward.

“Just turn yourself in please, cause we hurt, I’m hurting. I can’t, I can’t believe, I am so sick,” the mother said in July.

Loved ones say LaCroze went to the casino with a group of friends that night, and while police still have yet to release a motive, crime scene technicians discovered broken pieces of jewelry outside of his blue Mercedes indicating he may have been robbed.

Seminole Tribe police said it took several law enforcement agencies to make the arrests.

“Successful resolution of this case is due to solid criminal investigative work and excellent cooperation from the Office of the State Attorney in Broward County and several law enforcement agencies, including the Miami Office of the FBI and its Florida Safe Trails Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Sheriff’s Offices in Broward and Seminole Counties,” said William Latchford, Executive Director of Public Safety for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Seminole Police Department. “We also want to thank the community for the many important tips received from Broward County Crime Stoppers as a result of extensive local news coverage.”

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