73-year-old man arrested in connection with fire, shooting at Miami apartment complex

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

A 73-year-old Miami man is suspected of shooting a worker at the apartment building where he lives and intentionally starting a fire that quickly engulfed the complex, according to court documents.

The fire was reported around 8:15 a.m. ET on Monday at Temple Court Apartments, according to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. More than 125 firefighters battled the blaze for approximately eight hours, he said during a press briefing Monday evening announcing the suspect's apprehension.

First responders found a man who had been shot inside the building. He was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the torso in critical condition, authorities said. The victim is an employee of the complex, according to the property's manager, Atlantic Housing Foundation, which said it was "shocked and saddened" by the fire and shooting.

A resident of the apartment building, Juan Francisco Figueroa, was arrested in connection with the shooting and fire, according to an arrest affidavit. He faces multiple charges -- including attempted felony murder, first-degree arson and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon -- and was ordered held on no bond during a hearing on Tuesday, online court records show. Attorney information was not immediately available.

Figueroa was allegedly seen running from the scene by a resident of the building the morning of the shooting, according to an arrest affidavit.

Another resident came out of his apartment after hearing gunshots and found the victim on the first floor suffering from a gunshot wound and referring to Figueroa by his apartment number, according to the affidavit. The resident also saw an "explosion" following the gunshots, the affidavit said.

Detectives conducted a traffic stop on Figueroa's vehicle around 4 p.m. ET and he was allegedly found carrying a revolver, according to the affidavit. He allegedly told detectives that he "knew what he had done and expected to be in prison for the rest of his life," the affidavit stated.

The three-alarm fire was the first of that level in the city in 25 years, according to Suarez.

Responding firefighters rescued more than 40 people, including some from their balconies, the mayor said, calling their actions "heroic." Firefighters conducted seven ladder rescues, he said.

Firefighters discovered the fire on the third floor of the apartment building, according to Miami Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lt. Pete Sanchez.

The building is a wood-frame structure, which "explains the intensity and the rapid spread of the fire," he said.

All residents of the building, most of whom are elderly, have been accounted for, Suarez said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Three firefighters were transported to a local hospital in stable condition for further evaluation, according to Sanchez. Two have since been released, he said Monday afternoon.

A resident was also transported to a hospital for smoke inhalation, Sanchez said.

The property's management company is renting a hotel for the next two weeks for the 43 residents displaced by the fire, according to the mayor.

"We are still determining the cause of these events, and we are checking for other injuries," Atlantic Housing Foundation said in a statement. "Police are investigating, and we will help in whatever ways we can."

Related Topics