NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Tragedy struck at a Northeast Miami-Dade apartment complex when, authorities said, a man fatally shot his neighbor, then himself in a murder-suicide, Thursday morning.
Police responded to the scene at the Skylake Gardens apartments along the 1700 block of Northeast 185th Street.
According to investigators, 54-year-old Manuel Navarro approached her upstairs neighbor, 61-year-old Yasmina Jamal, as she was coming home, just after 8 a.m. Police said he shot her, then shot into her apartment where her two brothers were.
“My mom, my husband and I heard three shots that we went, ‘Wow, that’s a gun,'” said neighbor Katrina Banaghan. “My mom looked out the window and saw him run downstairs.”
Detectives said Navarro then went into his apartment and fatally shot himself.
“I thought it was something else. I never thought it was actually shooting,” said neighbor Estefania Ramos.
Jamal, a real estate agent who was on the apartment complex’s association board, was rushed to Aventura Hospital as a trauma alert. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Jamal’s siblings were not injured.
Navarro’s brother, Miguel Navarro, said he rushed to the scene after he received a call from his sister. “He was on the phone with my sister in Tampa. She heard the shots. I guess he told her, ‘I killed a lady next door. I want to kill myself,'” he said. “Then she heard a shot. She called me frantically. [She told me], ‘Go over there. Something’s going on.'”
Miguel told 7News his sibling had a history of mental illness. “My brother has like a psychological problem. He’s been having a problem with the neighbor a long time, and she doesn’t leave them alone,” he said.
Shaken neighbors said Navarro had it out for Jamal. “He’s threatened us before to kill us. I told that to the courts. I cannot believe this,” said one neighbor who asked not to be identified.
But Miguel said his brother was in good spirits earlier this week. “His mood was fine. He was happy. He was doing OK,” he said. “Apparently, something snapped today with the neighbor.”
Navarro’s brother said he was attempting to get to Navarro to talk him down but did not make it in time.
Police found Navarro dead at the scene.
“He’s disabled psychologically. He’s got problems,” said Miguel as he broke down in tears. “I told them to take the gun away from him, take the gun. I knew this was going to come to this.”
7News cameras captured a surveillance camera above Jamal’s front door.
Neighbors said Navarro had made death threats to Jamal and to other board members in the past. “I went with Yasmina to the courts a year and a half ago to file a complaint about him, to file a restraining order,” said the neighbor who asked not to be identified. “They told me, ‘Don’t file a restraining order, ’cause he’ll go crazy.”
Meanwhile, Miguel is trying to make sense of a tragedy that, he said, could have been prevented. “They should have taken his gun away having a psychological [problem],” he said. “You’re not supposed to have a gun when you have psychological problems. This wouldn’t have happened.”
Police continue to investigate.
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