Army Ranger Veteran Killed After Casino Altercation, 2 Arrested
Miami, Florida – US Army Ranger veteran Fernando Duarte, 33, was playing poker on Christmas at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. But something went wrong at his poker table when two men and the veteran had words. The Casino asked the victim and his friend to leave. Shortly thereafter, Duarte was killed as he sat alone in his car in the parking lot. Two suspects have been charged in his death.
Duarte was a 12 year US Army Ranger veteran, who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His family says that before he left the casino, he had won a prize on the slot machines. Some think the motive for his killing was robbery, but that is unclear.
The Casino police stated that the men got into a “brief verbal altercation.” When they got outside, the situation escalated. The police affidavit says that the two suspects actively looked for Duarte when he was alone in his vehicle.
Kenin Bailey, 25, and Mikey Lenard, 25, have been charged with First Degree Murder in the killing.
Police said the incident stemmed from an argument between the victim and the suspects at a poker table inside the casino. Detectives said Duarte and his friend were asked to leave. When the men crossed paths again outside the parking lot, they again exchanged words. When the men got into their cars, police said the suspects actively sought out Duarte alone in his car.
According to a police report, Bailey allegedly shot Durate while driving past him, hitting the victim once in the shoulder, pelvis and hand. His friend ran to him to try to help out.
Detectives say Bailey then walked up to a security guard and told him he shot Duarte in self defense. Detectives say the Army veteran was unarmed.
Police captured and arrested the men. Casino video footage reportedly shows the incident, but at this writing, only the police have access to it.
Duarte was transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he died in surgery.
Both suspects are being held without bond at Turner Guilford Knight correctional center.