Parts of a Kendall neighborhood remain shut down as police search for two suspects still at large after a gunfight and fire at an alleged marijuana grow house Tuesday night.
Miami-Dade Police have one suspect, 29-year-old Brian Kelly Howell, in custody. But two others -- Dell Peter DiGiovanni, 50, and Michael Steven DiGiovanni, 27 -- are believed to be still in the area and armed and dangerous.
Road closures are in effect from SW 152nd Avenue to SW 157th Avenue and SW 56th Street to SW 60th Street, and authorities are encouraging commuters to stay away.
The incident began Tuesday about 7:15 p.m. when narcotics detectives moved toward the suspected grow house at 15415 SW 57th Street and the subjects opened fire, according to Miami-Dade Police. Detectives fired back and the men fled on foot.
Responding officers set up a perimeter around the area, nabbing Howell. The home also caught fire, though it is unknown how at this time, burning through the night as the search for the other two men kept firefighters from the scene.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told NBC6 it is possible that someone could be inside the house.
"We have not been able to enter or process the house itself because of the fact that it's still considered to be unsafe, fire has not been able to get to it because it's still too hot," he said Wednesday.
The perimeter kept some Kendall residents from returning to their homes, while others cowered in terror during the firefight. SWAT members moved through homes in search of the suspects as police helicopters hovered overhead, warning residents through megaphones to remain inside. Squads from Sweetwater, Hialeah and Coral Gables Police joined in the hunt, reports WSVN.
“At first we thought it was firecrackers, but when we went outside the police yelled at us to get back inside," a woman living on the street told the Miami Herald, asking not to be identified. "By the end, it sounded like a real gun battle. We called 911 and hid in the rear of the house.”
Neighbors told the Herald the house was a known problem in the neighborhood.
UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.: Miami-Dade Police confirmed that a burned body was found inside the suspected grow house, NBC6 reports. It has not been identified and it is not clear if the remains are one of the suspects.
UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: Miami-Dade police confirm suspect Dell Peter DiGiovanni, 50, committed suicide and was found dead about 10 blocks away in the area of SW 147 Avenue and SW 48 Terrace. The Miami Herald reports he was found hanging.