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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Police accuse Palm Beach Gardens man of shooting transvestite prostitutes

The Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach Police departments Thursday arrested a Palm Beach Gardens man who is accused of shooting at transvestite prostitutes. This morning, a judge ordered that 22-year-old Luis Rijo De Los Santos be held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $300,000. He is facing charges of robbery with a firearm and aggravated battery with a firearm. He may also face first-degree murder charges after one of the men he allegedly shot died because his injuries. According to the police departments' arrest reports, both dealt with reports of transvestite prostitutes being shot at by a man who was described as possibly being of "Dominican decent." In the Riviera Beach case, 23-year-old Tyrell M. Jackson and 20-year-old Michael B. Hunter were walking home on March 24 when one of them complained of foot pain. They flagged down a silver sport-utility vehicle at 3:26 a.m. that took them for a ride in the direction that the men had requested. But the driver, who was later identified as De Los Santos, eventually drove to the 500 block of West Fifth Street and opened fire on both men. Jackson later died of his injuries. Just 30 minutes later, in West Palm Beach, a 27-year-old transvestite prostitute was shot in the right hip. The man, whose name was withheld in the report, told officers that he had struck an agreement with a man matching De Los Santos' description. He went on to say that the driver of the SUV "became very upset" after parking the vehicle and pulled out a gun. The man ran out of fear for his safety, but was shot in the right hip before he could dive over a four-foot wall. A witness in Riviera Beach was able to identify the first three letters of the SUV's license tag. Detectives were able to trace the SUV - a 2003 Buick Rendezvous - to a woman in Palm Beach Gardens. During the investigation, they learned that on the night of the shooting, De Los Santos had access to the woman's SUV. Detectives executed a search warrant at De Los Santos' home and found two firearms and ammunition, which matched the spent casings found at both shooting scenes, the report said.



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