|Jamal Royal Jackson|
On Thursday, Miami-Dade police homicide detectives arrested 17-year-old Jamal Royal Jackson and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death last month of 71-year-old Miguel Pilotos in the parking lot of an Opa-Locka supermarket.
In a town almost numb to this kind of crime, the shocking, caught-on-video killing seemed particularly senseless and inexplicably vicious.
Pilotos was gunned down in broad daylight during what police believe was a robbery attempt at the Top Value Supermarket at NW 139th Street and 27th Ave. in Opa-Locka last Aug. 21.
Pilotos, who came to South Florida from Cuba in search of the American dream, died leaving his heartbroken family struggling for answers.
And despite the heinous nature of Pilotos' murder, the Miami Herald's coverage barely amounted to a few sentences.
Surveillance video from inside the store on the day of Pilotos' murder showed Jackson, wearing camouflage cargo shorts, walking through the supermarket, appearing to stalk his victim.
Outside the store, another surveillance camera picked up Jackson slowly circling the parking lot on a bicycle as Pilotos walked to his car.
As Pilotos opened his car door, Jackson rolled up on his bike, pointed a gun and shot him at point-blank range. El Nuevo Herald reported that after shooting Pilotos, Jackson fled without taking anything.
Last week, police released the grainy surveillance video.
Miami TV stations aired the footage on their evening newscasts.
Back at Miami-Dade police headquarters, detectives waited for a phone call they knew would come. It did.
Yesterday afternoon, according to an arrest affidavit, homicide detectives picked up Jackson and charged him with Pilotos' cold-blooded murder.
A police source tells me that detectives were tipped to Jackson's identity by someone who saw the store surveillance video on a TV news broadcast.
The arrest affidavit lists Jackson's address as 640 Douglas Road in Opa-Locka....about a 2 mile bike ride to the supermarket where Pilotos was murdered.