MIAMI (WSVN) - A man who, authorities said, targeted three convenience stores in Hialeah was taken into custody after the knife-wielding suspect was shot by a police officer, sending him to the hospital.
The incident, leading to the arrest of 39-year-old Yaico Valdes Guzman, is the outcome of a two-week investigation that left a community on edge.
“I was scared to go home, ’cause I couldn’t go in my house,” said a Hialeah resident. “I had to go around the block because [police] had all this blocked off.”
According to Hialeah Police, it all began Dec. 16, when Valdes Guzman robbed the Farm Store along East Fourth Avenue in Hialeah while armed with a knife, demanding money.
The clerk, fearing for her safety, opened the register and gave the suspect all the cash. Police said he fled the scene in a getaway car driven by 39-year-old Yohana Acosta.
Thursday night, investigators said, Valdes Guzman was seen entering another Farm Store in Hialeah, this time on 12th Avenue, again armed with a knife.
This time, however, the clerk began screaming when the perpetrator demanded money, scaring him and sending him running. Police said he jumped in another getaway car, also driven by Acosta.
Police quickly jumped into action, forming a task force and setting up surveillance cameras at every Farm Store across the city. Their plan eventually worked, and they caught Valdes Guzman entering a Farm Store on West 29th Street, Friday.
Investigators said police officers confronted the knife-wielding suspect when he went in. It was then that one officer shot him.
Valdes Guzman collapsed outside the store and was taken into custody by members of the task force.
“There were at least 40 cops,” said the Hialeah resident.
He was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he remains in unknown condition.
Acosta was placed under arrest.
Neighbors said all the commotion is sad. “I want to be safe, like anyone else would be. Yeah, stop the violence,” said the Hialeah resident.
Valdes Guzman and Acosta are both facing a long list of charges.
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