MIAMI – Eduardo Caraballo Moreno said he wants to understand why a police officer ended his brother’s American Dream. He said he didn’t have a criminal record, was a family man, a hard worker, and he had a right to be armed in his Miami home.
He said his brother heard someone slammed the backdoor — and while fearing it was a burglar — he grabbed his firearm. The noise was coming from Miami police officers who were investigating reports of shots fired near Miami’s Douglas Park.
He said he doesn’t understand why police officers entered the backyard.
“They knocked on the back of his house,” he said in Spanish. “If they would have gone to the front, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
That’s just one of the many questions Caraballo Moreno said authorities have refused to answer. It has been about a month and two weeks since a Miami police officer shot and killed his 57-year-old brother Rodolfo Caraballo Moreno. He was born in Marti, Cuba and after moving to South Florida, he set up to become a successful business owner and accomplished it.
“He left behind family, left children, left siblings who are in pain with this situation,” Eduardo Caraballo Moreno said in Spanish.
Hours after Rodolfo Caraballo Moreno hosted a small New Year’s Eve party, Miami police officers were in an area south of Coral Way, between Ponce De Leon and Douglas Road. He lived near the intersection of Southwest 28th Street and 38th Avenue.
Caraballo Moreno said his brother didn’t speak English. He fears this could have contributed to the confusion when his brother, who doesn’t have a criminal record, opened the door with a weapon in hand and the officer decided to shoot him.
Neighbors and relatives described Rodolfo Caraballo Moreno as a family man who was always ready to help others when they had problems with their air conditioners or appliances. He was proud of being able to do so.
The background of his Facebook profile was a picture of his white work van with a picture of a snowman and a blue sign: A/C Family Appliance Services Inc. Records show he had incorporated it in 2009.
Eduardo Caraballo Moreno said the Miami police officer who shot his brother must have been wearing a bodycam, and there should be a video of the shooting.
“The police doesn’t want to show us the video,” he said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has yet to release the results of the investigation into the police-involved shooting, and the Miami Police Department hasn’t released the identity or background of the police officer involved. The victim’s brother said this makes grief even more difficult to deal with.