NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are investigating after a tow truck driver was shot at in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade Police said 31-year-old Petr Cherepanov and his assistant, 23-year-old Cristian Fernandez, came under fire as they tried to repossess a vehicle along Northwest 147th Street and 11th Court, Friday morning.
Cherepanov, who was behind the wheel of the tow truck, was struck by a bullet fragment and drove himself to North Shore Hospital.
He’s believed to be in stable condition and is expected to be OK.
Neighbors in the area said they heard gunshots at around 4 a.m.
“We can get that type of phone call in the early morning that something like that is happening to one of your guys,” Rigo Herrera said. “The people and the lack of respect for life is getting out of hand. I hope the authorities get him. I hope he gets charged, and I hope it sticks.”
7News cameras captured the tow truck riddled with bullet holes outside the hospital’s emergency room.
Damage could be seen on the windshield along with a blown out rear window.
The tow truck was seen a few hours later leaving the hospital with a white pickup truck hooked onto the back.
Officials said the gunman drove up to the victims in a dark grey Ford Fusion before opening fire.
Fernandez, who was in a separate vehicle, escaped uninjured.
Later in the morning, officers had a Ford Fusion matching the description towed away from the scene less than half a mile away from the original site of the shooting.
Detectives confirmed it was part of a follow-up investigation.
According to police, the subjects fled in the Ford as well as the black Infiniti Q50 the victims were trying to repossess.
The Infiniti’s tag number is said to be KGXE48.
Specialized Towing and Transport, the company Cherepanov and Fernandez work for, released the following statement Friday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, these incidents are occurring more frequently. Early this morning one of our senior recovery agents and his spotter were the victims of a gunfire attack. Fortunately, neither of them sustained serious injuries. Unfortunately, incidents of this kind are becoming a monthly occurrence here in South Florida. We would like to remind the public that recovery agents are simply doing their job and that no vehicle or collateral is worth taking a person’s life. We are working to help investigators in this incident in hopes that the responsible persons are found so that it can serve as an example to others and also, bring awareness to the public.”
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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