Authorities are investigating after a landlord shot his former tenant dead during a dispute. Thursday afternoon, Hialeah Police detectives could be seen guarding the house on 57th Street and West 10th Avenue, while investigators continued to interview the landlord, 40-year-old William Arteaga, inside.
The confrontation began at about 2 a.m. Thursday in front of a home when the tenant, 24-year-old Yasmany Puentes, came to pick up furniture after he had been evicted. According to investigators, the argument between the former tenant and the landlord escalated. Hialeah Police Detective Eddie Rodriguez said, “We know that the tenant was rightfully evicted yesterday by Miami-Dade County. He returned earlier this morning and confronted the homeowner.”
Police said Puentes was gunned down in the front yard. He took a bullet to the chest. Detectives recovered a baseball bat and a gun from the scene. “He [tenant] was armed with a baseball bat,” said Rodriguez. “The homeowner produced a firearm and shot at least one round, striking and killing the subject right here on the scene.”
The deceased man’s family arrived hours later, confused and sobbing. His widow said he had just become a father to a daughter. “My 2-month-old baby is now an orphan,” she said, speaking in Spanish.
Hialeah Police placed Arteaga in handcuffs at the scene and put in a police cruiser. He later returned to the home wearing a police jacket, in the company of police who questioned him further. Police did not say why they brought him back home. “We do have the home in custody is is cooperating with the investigation,” noted Rodriguez.
Residents who live in the neighborhood said they did not hear any commotion. “There was no noise. It didn’t wake us up as a family. None of us were woken up,” said Charles Pollack. “I’ve never interacted with them. I do believe the household is a rental property and maybe not just one tenant, maybe several tenants.”
Michael Allen lives behind the home where the shooting took place and said he recognized the man who was taken into custody following the deadly dispute. “The one in the handcuffs, yes, that’s the one that I recognize,” said Allen. “That’s the one that I talked to when I told him about the dog going over to the other side.”
Allen added that the family has lived in the home for about three to four years.
The shooting happened across the street from Palm Springs Middle School. The crime scene remained as parents pulled up to drop off their children for class. Parent Kail Maheswaran said, “It’s a reflection of the times we live in, I’ll basically spend some time today talking to my daughter.”
The home has many surveillance cameras attached to the outside structure and may have captured the incident as it happened. “There has been some requests for surveillance videos,” said Rodriguez. “Right now we do have detectives at the house and they are looking for video.”
Arteaga is no longer in custody. Police continue to investigate.