Related

MIAMI (WSVN) - A 73-year-old man appeared in court after he was arrested, accused of shooting a maintenance worker and causing a fire at a downtown Miami four-story building that burned for 10 hours on Monday.

Juan Francisco Figueroa was charged with four felonies, including attempted felony murder with a firearm and arson in the first degree.

During Figueroa’s court appearance on Tuesday, a judge denied him bond.

“He also admitted he shot the victim,” said Judge Mindy S. Glazer. “The explosion came from his apartment and he had wounds on his hands.”

Figueroa allegedly shot the worker early Monday morning at the apartment complex at 431 NW 3rd Street.

“We have the suspect who fired the gun in custody and who we suspect intentionally started the fire,” said City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

The victim, identified as 30-year-old Feder-One Biotte, was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition. His family said that Biotte underwent surgery and a bullet had been extracted from his stomach. He is recovering at the hospital.

According to a report, upon police arrival, Biotte told officers “307, the one from 307,” as he tried to guide officers to the shooter. He also told police that he heard an explosion.

Family members were in shock when they heard the news.

“It shocked me. Because I never heard he had a problem with nobody. He’s a very nice man. He love his family. And this hurt me really bad,” said Raynold Romeous, the victim’s godfather. “I call him son by the way. He’s, you know, my God Son. They said ‘Your son got shot’… I said, ‘How did that happen?’”

Biotte is expected to be OK.

Investigators said when they tracked down Figueroa hours later, he had a gun in one pocket and bullets in the other. According to the arrest record, he told police “he knew what he had done and expected to be in prison for the rest of his life.”

This is not the first time Figueroa sees a jail cell. According to state records, in the 1990s’ he was convicted of attempted murder and spent several years in prison.

When Miami Fire Rescue arrived at the apartment, heavy smoke filled the air.

“We also had several people that were trapped inside of their homes,” said Miami Fire Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “Some of them had to be removed through the windows using ladders. Some of them were taken down smokey hallways in order to get them out. Some we had to shelter in place as a result of their disabilities.”

Over 125 fire officials were at the scene.

As crews combated the fire, three firefighters were transported to the Jackson Memorial Hospital due to heat exhaustion, and at least one resident was treated for smoke inhalation.

They are all expected to be OK.

More than 40 residents were taken to a reunification center at  Jose Marti Park.

“By the time I got down there, sure enough, they were bringing her down in a stretcher and everything. They had just brought her down through the balcony, like down the ladder,” said Ruth, whose grandmother is a resident at the apartment.

The property management company will be assisting the residents by supplying them with hotel stays for at least the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Figueroa will remain behind bars without bond.

Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox