Five dead in murder-suicide in Miami, Florida

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Calle Ocho (SW 8th St) in Little Havana, Miami, Florida just east of SW 27th Avenue where it starts one-way eastbound.
Image: Averette.

Five people are dead following a murder-suicide in Miami, Florida today, after a man crashed a birthday party early Sunday morning. He informed the party-goers that they were responsible for his wife's decision to leave him, and then proceeded to open fire with a semi-automatic hand gun. The guests fled the scene into the street, or found cover.

The man, whom police identified as Guillermo Lopez, 48, immigrated to the United States from Cuba about 10 years ago. There were about a dozen people in attendance at the party. He killed his wife, who had left him, and shot her daughter, her daughter's boyfriend, and the boyfriend's grandmother. They were killed at approximately 12:15am in Little Havana, Miami.

Police first responded to the 2800 block of Southwest 38 Court following reports of gunfire. Four bodies were discovered behind the house.

"It was chaotic. I can't imagine what it was like in there," said homicide detective Ervens Ford.

Lopez fled the scene in a red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck to his home, which was about 3 miles (5 km) from the original scene. He set both the house and truck on fire and committed suicide.

Police and firetrucks responded to a second 911 call regarding the blaze at the 700 block of Southwest 33 Avenue where the assailant's body was found with a gunshot wound.

The victims have been identified as Lazara Mendez, 50; Nayla Canfux, 19; Francisco Casas, 27; and Maria Lefran Christ, 77.