Florida teenager, 15, will be tried as an adult for murder after he took real estate agent, 37, hostage at gunpoint and forced him to drive to ATM to withdraw $1,000
Stefano Barbosa, 37, died from a gunshot wound to the chest after the teen still shot him after the robbery on February 1
The armed teen approached Barbosa and forced him to drive to a nearby ATM in Fort Lauderdale to take out $1,000, then forced his hostage to drive another two miles as the teen sat in the passenger seat of his black sedan
The teen shot Barbosa multiple times while he was still driving and the real estate agent crashed through a fence into the front yard of a house and the robber fled the scene
The suspect who was identified through surveillance footage was charged as an adult with second-degree murder and armed robbery
A 15-year-old suspect has been charged as an adult in the killing of a Florida agent. The teenage armed robber is facing second-degree murder and armed robbery charges after taking the real estate agent hostage at gunpoint last month in Fort Lauderdale and shooting him dead.
Around 4.30pm on February 1, the 15-year-old allegedly forced the 37-year-old victim to a nearby ATM where he withdrew $1,000 before shooting the hostage in the chest while he was still behind the wheel of the car.
The teen robber fled the scene, but Fort Lauderdale cops were able to track down him down using surveillance footage.
The was already in juvenile custody on unrelated charges for burglaries, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer. Friday he wa transferred to Broward County Jail to be charged as an adult.
The victim, identified by the Sun Sentinel as Stefano Barbosa, was about to visit tenants at a quadruplex in the 600 block of Northwest 15th Terrace in Fort Lauderdale. He was approached by the armed suspect, who has not been named because of his age, wearing dark clothes and a black ski cap mask.
Surveillance footage showed Barbosa dropped his clipboard and raised his hands before the teen forced him back into his car, a black sedan.
Barbosa was then forced to drive to an ATM and take out $1,000 before the teen made him drive a further two miles and then shot him as he drove.
Barbosa slammed through the fence around the front of a house and crashed into a tree. The suspect then fled the scene.
The responding police officers initially believed Barbosa had simply crashed his vehicle until they smashed open the window of the black sedan and saw he had been shot.
The carjacker had forced Barbosa to drive for a mile to a branch of Bank of America, located on the 500 block of Northwest Sixth Street. He made two withdrawals of $500 from the ATM before returning to the car.
The suspect then forced Barbosa to drive for two miles more while he sat in the passenger seat before shooting him multiple times in the chest.
The car crashed through a chain-link fence and hit a tree in the 500 block of Northwest 19th Avenue, at around 5pm, just 30 minutes after Barbosa had been taken hostage. The suspect immediately fled.
The car had come close to crashing into a home, but it suffered minimal damage and no one inside the building was hurt. The home’s resident, who identified himself to NBC Miami as only Wayne, said that when he came from his house, he believed the man was injured after crashing through the fence.
He said he tried to tapping on the window but called 911 when Barbosa didn’t move.
‘When I walked outside, the car was on top of the palm tree and the tires were spinning,’ Wayne said. ‘And I was beating on the window and the guy wasn’t responding at all. He had his head turned to the side.’
Police thought they were arriving to the scene of a crash but it quickly turned into a homicide investigation when Barbosa’s gunshot wound was discovered. He died at the scene.
As Barbosa’s car crashed, it barely missed a house but he was the only casualty.
Police cut open the car and discovered that Barbosa had died from gunshot wounds. He was declared dead at the scene. Investigators initially could not figure out where Barbosa had been shot, but the investigation found clues
after grabs from surveillance footage from the neighborhood and the bank were shown to neighbors.
The 15-year-old was tracked down. After speaking to locals, police identified the suspect as a student in Cross Creek School in Pompano Beach. Detectives spoke to teachers at the school, three of whom were able to identify the suspect and he was taken into custody.
Investigators also found evidence on the teen’s cellphone which linked him to the crime, including a Google search to an article on the death of the real estate agent which had been read a day after Barbosa’s death. On Saturday, while making a first appearance before a judge in adult court, the teen appeared to have a difficult time comprehending the enormity of it all.
‘Uh, I don’t understand … what the big words are,’ he told Broward Judge John Murphy.
‘I know it says you’re 15 years old, but you’ve been charged as an adult with a first count of murder while engaged in a [second count of] … robbery with a firearm,’ Murphy responded.
‘Those are not bondable offenses.’
The teen now faces second-degree murder and armed robbery charges.
Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor explained that the decision was made to charge the boy as an adult so he could secure the best ‘treatment, help and services’ for his offences..
‘These types of decisions are very difficult to make but I believe this is the correct decision in this case and in these circumstances,’ Pryor said.
‘This young person’s issues are so significant that they require treatment, help and services beyond what the juvenile system can provide at this time.’
‘Any juvenile charge would mean that the person would be released after three years in the system and could only be kept under supervision in the community until age 21,’ he added.
An obituary for Barbosa says he was born in Brazil before moving to Florida as a child.
His family has celebrated him as ‘a person who seldom had a bad day’, whowas ‘fortunate enough to love life and live it to the fullest extent’.