MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A suspect was fatally shot by police Friday morning in southwest Miami-Dade, authorities confirmed.
According to Miami-Dade police, officers responded to the South Point apartment complex in the area of Southwest 198th Street and 114th Avenue shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a shooting.
Police said Jean Gutierrez, 38, was walking home from work when Donovan Adrian Watson, 25, shot him. According to police, Watson did not know Gutierrez.
A neighbor told Local 10 News that she heard three gunshots and the family of the victim yelling, “They killed him, they killed him.”
Gutierrez was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“A completely random victim, person who was just getting out of the car, just getting home from work, walking towards their apartment, he was confronted by this individual and shot multiple times,” Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.
Watson’s family says they believe he may have been going through a psychotic episode, which caused him to shoot Gutierrez and then barricade himself in his home.
“Before he did what he did, my mother hugged him, and my mother told him, ‘Can we get you Baker Acted?’ He said, ‘No mom, no mommy, we can go on Monday,’” Watson’s sister Amaya O’Sullivan said.
Watson’s two sisters also said his family attempted to take him to a Miami-Dade police station on Thursday because they believed he was going through a mental health crisis, but they were turned away.
Henry James, who lives in the area, told Local 10 News that authorities were trying to negotiate with Watson before the shooting.
“One o’clock, you start hearing his name, ‘Donovan, come out, come out, we want to talk to you, your sister loves you, your grandmother loves you,’” he said.
According to authorities, Watson barricaded himself inside his apartment on the first floor as Special Response Team members and negotiators arrived at the scene.
Police said officers tried to speak with the suspect for hours and eventually had a police robot approach the suspect’s apartment, which he shot, disabling it.
Police said Watson then shot out of the apartment at the Special Response Team members before stepping out of his apartment, continuing to shoot at them.
“He (Watson) then shot out at our Special Response Team members that were positioned outside the apartment, in the parking lot,” said Zabaleta.
Police fired back at the suspect, killing him, authorities confirmed.
Watson’s family questions the force police used to kill Watson.
“He’s in an episode, a robot’s coming in, he’s going crazy, having an episode. The first thing he see’s, he’s going to shoot it,” O’Sullivan said.
“There was a better way to handle this, and I feel like my brother didn’t have to die, you didn’t have to kill him, especially while experiencing a major health crisis,” Adrianna O’Sullivan, Watson’s other sister, said.
No officers were injured in the shooting and no one else was inside the suspect’s apartment, authorities said.
According to the family, the gun belonged to Watson and was properly registered.
People who said they were friends and family of Watson told Local 10 News they are in disbelief after describing him as a sweet kid.
“He was pretty quiet, we didn’t get much out of him, like ego or like -- he was quiet, so you didn’t know if he was going or coming,” said James.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the police-involved shooting, per standard protocol.
Gutierrez is Cuban and was a 10-year resident and maintenance worker in southwest Miami-Dade. He is survived by his wife back in Cuba. According to his family, Watson worked as an insurance agent and lived with family.
Local 10 News reporter Trent Kelly contributed to this story.