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Police Identify Suspect in Miami Building Fire

U.S.Police Identify Suspect in Miami Building Fire

Moments before a Miami apartment complex was engulfed on Monday morning in what the mayor called the worst fire in the city in 25 years, residents of the building heard loud noises that sounded like gunshots.

An arrest affidavit released Tuesday said that after hearing the sounds at around 8 a.m., a resident found an employee of the four-story building’s management company lying on the first floor, shot in the abdomen. The employee told him, in Spanish, that he had been shot by the occupant of Unit 307, the witness later told the police. The victim also said that he had seen an explosion after being shot.

That information helped officers track down and arrest a man who they say shot the management company employee and intentionally set fire to the complex, the Temple Court Apartments near downtown Miami. On Tuesday, the Police Department identified the suspect, who was arrested on Monday afternoon, as Juan Francisco Figueroa.

Mr. Figueroa, 73, was charged with attempted felony murder with a firearm, first-degree arson and displaying a firearm while committing a felony, according to the arrest affidavit. Mr. Figueroa was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition as a felon. The Police Department said he had been convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault in 1992.

The affidavit identified the shooting victim as Feder Biotte. He was hospitalized on Monday in critical condition.

The authorities have not said what events might have led to the shooting, or specifically how they believe the devastating fire was ignited.


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