Posted Jan. 9, 2008 – A possible break in the murder investigation of a Miami Police detective found shot to death in his unmarked car.
:: AD ::
Authorities arrested 21-year-old Ricardo Ajuste, pictured above, early Wednesday morning, the Miami Herald reports. Ajuste reportedly shot a man in the arm Monday because a woman he had just been out on a date with was in a car with another man.
"We understand that the woman in the car had a date earlier with Mr. Ajuste," Miami Police Lt. Bill Schwartz told NBC 6 in Miami. "After he left, she had another date with someone else. Ajuste returned with an AK-47 because he didn't take kindly to her having another date. He found her in the car with the other guy and shot the hell out of the car, hitting the guy once in the arm."
Walker, who was off-duty, apparently heard gunshots, stumbled upon the shooting and fired his weapon in an effort to stop Ajuste, police said. Ajuste, using a high-powered rifle, shot back at Walker, and he died. His body was found in his unmarked car in an alley by North Miami Beach. Authorities believe he was in the area to visit his ex-wife.
"Detective Walker is a hero. He was off the clock, but like all of us, never off duty," Schwartz said.
Investigators are comparing ballistics from an AK-47 assault rifle found at the scene with bullets taken from Walker's body and fingerprinting for evidence.
Police are still looking for a 2001 or later-model White Ford Taurus, similar to the one in which Walker's body was found, with right rear-end damage and riddled with bullets holes.
Although the Herald reports Ajuste is considered the police's prime suspect, he has not yet been charged with the shooting death of James Walker, and Miami Police are not confirming his arrest. But they are confirming that Ajuste is a major player in a North Miami gang and using an AK-47 is just one of the things he does.
"We are happy that this case seems to be wrapping up today. We hope it will be wrapped up today," Schwartz told NBC 6. "When a police officer is killed, there's no place for the bad guy to hide."
Walker, who was a detective with the Miami Police Department for seven years, will be laid to rest Saturday.
An $11,000 reward is being offered to the person who can lead police to the suspects.