A deadly shootout in Miami that killed one son of a Canadian diplomat and left another charged with felony murder and possibly facing the death penalty erupted over the sale of two pounds of marijuana.
Jean Wabafiyebazu, the 17-year-old son of longtime diplomat Roxanne Dubé, was killed Monday, and his 15-year-old brother remains in a youth detention centre Wednesday for his alleged role in what their father believes was a drug deal gone wrong. The Citizen is not naming the youth charged.We apologize, but this video has failed to load. Try refreshing your browser, or
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Miami-Dade police responded to a shooting at 3600 SW 17th Terrace on Monday afternoon in the southwest Miami neighbourhood of Coral Way. Inside the small yellow apartment building they found Joshua Wright, 17, a suspected drug dealer according to the Miami Herald, dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Wabafiyebazu had also been shot, in what police believe was an “exchange of gunfire,” between him and Wright, according to arrest forms released to the Citizen on Wednesday by the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney. Wabafiyebazu died in hospital.Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content
A third man, Anthony Rodriguez, 19, suffered a gunshot wound to the left arm. He managed to drive away from the building but was later found at a nearby gas station, according to the Herald. Rodriguez is charged with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and possessing marijuana for the purpose of selling.
Police allege Wright called Rodriguez to do the deal. Rodriguez allegedly arrived at the apartment building with the drugs, got out of his car, went inside and began “negotiations,” the arrest report says.
“During the negotiations, both deceased victims became involved in an exchange of gunfire,” the report said.
Once he heard the gunshots,Wabafiyebazu’s 15-year-old brother left their mother’s black BMW, which has diplomatic plates, and entered the apartment. Neighbours said the boy left the grisly scene screaming: “My brother, my brother.”More On This Topic Roxanne Dubé 'incredible, intelligent, wonderful human being,' says Lloyd Axworthy Diplomatic incidents: Rare, but attention-grabbing
The younger brother, arrested once Miami police arrived on scene, has been charged with felony murder and corruption by threat against a public servant for allegedly threatening to kill a homicide investigator, according to arrest forms.
“While sitting in homicide unit, defendant (allegedly) stated he was going to kill Detective Garcia and that he would shoot him in the head,” the arrest form read.
Family members of consular officials enjoy no diplomatic immunity.Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content
According to the Miami Herald, however, the shooting occurred not in a deal gone wrong but as part of a planned drug ripoff. Police believe the two brothers, both armed with guns, planned to rob the dealers they were meeting.
The boys had told their mother they were going for a drive. The family — the brothers joined their mother in Miami in February — lives in nearby Coral Gables.
Police have not yet determined where and how the brothers got the firearms.
Police said both Rodriguez and the younger brother have confessed to part of the events in question, but those alleged admissions were redacted from the forms released to the Citizen.Miami-Dade police work at a crime scene in Miami, involving the two teenage sons of Roxanne Dubé, Canada’s counsel general in Miami. A black BMW matching the description of Dubé’s car is seen at right. The photo was taken Monday, March 30, 2015. The Associated Press
Both Rodriguez and the younger brother have been charged with murder, even though they aren’t alleged to have pulled the triggers. Florida law dictates that anyone who participates in a crime that leads to murder can be charged with it, even if they weren’t responsible for the killing.
Prosecutors were weighing whether to charge Wabafiyebazu’s brother as an adult, in which case he could face the death penalty.
Both teenagers attended the private French school Lycée Claudel on Riverside Drive when they lived in Ottawa. Former classmates of the slain teen, have posted messages of grief online.
One teen remembered Wabafiyebazu teaching him to skateboard at Camp Fortune in nearby Chelsea, Que. Another remembered the boy spending what seemed like an eternity explaining how to properly pronounce his last name.Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content
At their grieving father’s Gloucester house on Wednesday, a childhood photograph of his two sons is face-down on a shelf.
“It makes me sad looking at that picture,” Germano Wabafiyebazu said.
The sudden loss of both of his sons – one shot dead and the other in a detention centre facing an unknown future – has stunned him.
“Now I’ve lost my 17-year-old son, and I don’t see how to change it,” he said. “It’s too late.
“Add to that the case of (my younger son) – he’s not even cleared. It’s too much for somebody like me. I’m not somebody accustomed to this kind of life.”
Both sons were born in Ottawa and grew up in the national capital. Between 2005 and 2008, they were posted with their mother in Zimbabwe.
Wabafiyebazu, who is half-Angolan and half-Congolese, met Dubé in 1983. He said he still considers the mother of his children as family and that the two, though separated, remain on good terms.
Growing up, the children were privileged and wanted for nothing.
“They had everything,” he said. “They never had problems. That is what is sad.”
But children need boundaries and limits, Wabafiyebazu said.
Wabafiyebazu said he worked hard to raise his children right but that the allure of an easy lifestyle and the influence of others began to take its toll on his elder son Jean, who struggled with substance abuse.
He was extroverted, handsome, always well-dressed, drove the same BMW he drove to his death to school. Wabafiyebazu said he feels they “lost control” of the boy they raised.
He warned his children that what would be considered “play” on this side of the border would come with harsher consequences in the States.
Jean’s body will be flown back to Ottawa this week for a funeral and burial.
Anthony Rodriguez was released on $150,000 U.S. bail Wednesday. Wabafiyebazu’s younger son remained in the Miami-Dade Juvenile Detention Center pending a bail hearing.Roxanne Dubé became Canadian consul general in Miami in November. Ottawa Citizen
With files from William Marsden, Meghan Hurley, Don Butler and The Associated Press.
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