Equinox Fitness Club shooter had marijuana in system

A disgruntled former employee who fatally shot two people at a Coral Gables fitness center before killing himself had marijuana in his system at the time, according to a toxicology report obtained by Local 10 News.

Coral Gables police said Abeku Wilson, 33, was fired from Equinox Fitness Club on April 8 and returned later that day with a gun, killing two managers. Police said Wilson then fatally shot himself.

General manager Janine Ackerman, 35, and fitness manager Marios Hortis, 42, were killed.

A Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department toxicology report reveals that Wilson had cannabinoids in his urine and bloodstream.

“As soon as we met, we clicked. We connected. He spoke to me generally as an older brother figure,” friend and former co-worker Hamad Shirazi told Local 10 News in April.

Shirazi was hired at Equinox at the same time as Wilson. They remained close after Shirazi left the gym.

He believed that there were deeper issues involved.

“There’s no defense in his actions, but I hope that all of us can come together to remember him in a better light, and also learn from this and move forward, so that we can create a positive outcome, even though it’s an unfortunate situation,” Shirazi said.

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Man caught on camera breaking into Thai restaurant in Coral Gables

A 21-year-old man is facing multiple charges after he was captured on surveillance video breaking into three Moon Thai restaurants, authorities said.

Coral Gables police said the latest burglary was reported May 13 at the Moon Thai restaurant at 1118 S. Dixie Highway.

According to an incident report, surveillance video shows a man smashing the front glass door of the business just after 1 a.m. 

Police said the man used a claw hammer to pry open the cash drawer and steal the register and the nightly deposits.

Detectives said the man, who they identified as Bernard Lamar Brantley, appeared to know his way around the restaurant and walked straight to the cash drawer.

Nothing else was taken from the business.

Police said Brantley was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, gloves and something covering his face during the burglary, but said that he was captured on surveillance video in an alley behind the restaurant without the hoodie on.

Detectives believe that Brantley is the same person who was captured on surveillance video burglarizing other Moon Thai restaurants, including one on May 10 at Southland Mall in Cutler Bay and another on May 11 at the restaurant’s Kendall location.

A Coral Gables detective met with detectives June 12 in Cutler Bay who said they had arrested Brantley in connection with the Southland Mall burglary.

The detective met with Brantley the next day at the Metro West Correctional Facility in Doral, and said he confessed to all three burglaries.

Police said Brantley claimed that he acted alone in each of the burglaries and was drunk and needed money.

He said he sold an iPad that he stole from one of the restaurants to a woman on the street for $100, authorities said. 

Brantley remains in jail on multiple charges, including burglary, theft and criminal mischief. 

 

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Police officer accused of domestic violence is relieved of duty

A Coral Gables police officer was relieved of duty on Friday during an ongoing investigation. Officer Manuel Rivero was with the Coral Gables Police Department for about 17 years.  Chief of Police Edward J. Hudak Jr. took his marked car …

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25 Cubans come to University of Miami to learn about democracy

Twenty-five professionals from across Cuba are spending a couple weeks at the University of Miami learning about what life was like in their country, pre-Fidel Castro.

Coincidentally, these professionals are in South Florida the same week that President Donald Trump is set to visit Miami where he is expected to follow through on a campaign promise to roll back on the Obama administration’s efforts to open Cuba to U.S. tourism and trade.

“If the doors have already been opened, they shouldn’t be closed,” Jorge Torres said.  

But Trump has often said Obama’s deal-making with Cuba has been one-sided.

Egberto Morales, a visiting Cuban, said it is an error to interpret Obama’s changes as a way to disrupt this dictatorship.

Some Cubans have a different view.

Julio Rodriguez owns his own restaurant in Cuba and said some policies set forth by the previous administration have made his life better.

“If they don’t allow U.S. tourism to come into Cuba, it may affect the majority of private Cuban businesses,” Rodriguez said.

Yazmin Gonzalez points out that Cubans will have to see what reversing the policies would be like.

She said if they are positive, they will support them.

Regardless of whatever changes might take place, these Cubans are looking towards the future in Coral Gables.

 

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Gunman chases victim during midday robbery in Coral Gables

Coral Gables detectives said a man parked his Jaguar in front of his home’s driveway. There was a parked four-door BMW that he didn’t recognize.

He was holding a bag with jewelry when he got off the car in the area of Ingram Highway and Douglas Road near Coconut Grove, according to detectives.

The victim told police officers that a robber wielding a hand gun jumped out of the white BMW and chased him when he started running. The robber swiped the bag when he dropped it.

Officer Kelly Denham released an image from surveillance video on Tuesday. It showed the armed suspect was wearing long dreadlocks in a bun during the time of the midday Saturday robbery.

Detectives believe the robber is in his late teens or early 20s, and they were asking anyone with information to call 305-442-1600 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.  

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