Canadian diplomat's son killed in Miami
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, April 1, 2015 8:03AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 1, 2015 10:11PM EDT
A Canadian diplomat's teenaged son has been shot dead and her younger son has been arrested on murder charges after an alleged drug deal gone bad in Miami, Fla.
Jean Wabafiyebazu, 17, was one of two victims killed in a shooting at an apartment complex in the city on Monday. Wabafiyebazu is the son of Roxanne Dube, Canada's consul general in Miami.
Dube's ex-husband, Germano Wabafiyebazu, confirmed to CTV News Channel on Wednesday that his son Jean is dead and his younger son, Marc, 15, is in police custody, facing felony murder charges.
"I'm in a very bad state," Wabafiyebazu, who lives in Ottawa, told The Canadian Press.
"Listen, to see (a teenager) who was suddenly killed. When someone is ill, you can gradually get used to the idea that there's no hope, but this is a child in good health, so it's a shock."
Marc is also facing charges of threatening a police officer while in custody, according to a police report. The 15-year-old is alleged to have said that he was going shoot a police detective in the head.
One other teen was killed and another man was injured in the incident, but they were not identified.
Germano Wabafiyebazu told CTV News Channel that Jean was at the apartment for an "appointment" to buy marijuana, while his younger son was waiting outside in their mother's vehicle.
Wabafiyebazu said that when alleged drug deal went bad, Marc heard gunshots, rushed to the house and found that Jean had been killed.
The altercation left one other person dead.
Wabafiyebazu told CTV Ottawa that he doesn't know where the guns came from, and disputes reports that his sons had allegedly gone to the apartment with the intention of robbing the drug dealers.
One witness told the local ABC affiliate that he heard multiple gunshots coming from the apartment complex near Miami's Little Havana neighbourhood.
"We heard like six straight shots," he said.
"(I) came out here (and) heard another four (and I) saw some guy come out with a gun, some other guy behind him stumbling who fell down, and some chick came out screaming," he added.
Miami-based criminal defence lawyer David Edelstein, who is not involved in the case, says the 15-year-old can be charged under Florida law because he was allegedly involved in a crime that resulted in someone's death.
"If somebody dies in the attempted commission of the crime, you can be charged with murder, even though you did not pull the trigger," Edelstein told CTV News Channel.
He added that the boy's Canadian citizenship will have "no effect" on the charges against him, and he will not benefit from any form of diplomatic immunity.
It is unclear at this point whether the boy will be charged as an adult.
Miami police confirmed that another man, 19-year-old Anthony Rodriguez, has been charged with second-degree murder and marijuana possession with intent to sell in connection to the incident.
A police report obtained by The Associated Press quotes a witness as saying Rodriguez allegedly brought nearly a kilogram of marijuana to the negotiations at the apartment.
"During the negotiations, both deceased victims became involved in an exchange of gunfire," the report says.
A judge approved Rodriguez's release from jail on $150,000 bail.
Wabafiyebazu said that he and Dube divorced a few years ago, and that he wanted his sons to stay in Ottawa, but it was difficult to convince them otherwise.
"I can't compete because (Dube) is in Miami, so for them it was really a dream destination," Wabafiyebazu said.
The brothers' former diplomatic school in Ottawa, Lycee Claudel, is offering support services for students.
"Regardless of how many years they spent here with us, it's a story that really affects us," the school's principal, Pascale Garrec, told The Canadian Press.
And to die so young -- it's terrible. Obviously, we're thinking about their family," he added.
They were enrolled in the private institution until last year.
The Department of Foreign Affairs tells CTV News it is aware of a "serious incident" in Miami involving a Canadian family.
"Canadian officials are providing assistance to the family," spokesperson John Babcock said in a statement earlier on Wednesday. "A full investigation is underway and we will continue assisting local authorities."
Babcock said further details "cannot be released" to protect the "private and personal information of the individuals concerned."
Babcock added that diplomatic immunities "are not an issue in this matter" because they do not extend to family members of consular officials.
Wabafiyebazu said the boys were using their mother's borrowed vehicle, which has diplomatic licence plates.
Dube assumed her post in Miami in February, after receiving the appointment in November. She previously served as Canada's ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2005 to 2008.
With files from The Associated Press, The Canadian Press and a report from CTV Ottawa