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Old 04-18-10, 12:58 AM   #1
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Cyclist Gunned Down In Miami on AMW

America's Most Wanted aired a story about a Special Olympian who was gunned down while cycling. There was another cyclist riding behind him for at least 3 blocks, who may have seen what happened or may have been the shooter. The Special Olympian cyclist had been egged a week earlier (reported to cops), by a bunch of men in a pick-up truck.

Happened about 11:30 PM. Both cyclist were wrong way sidewalk riding, which makes me suspect the other cyclist more than a passing motorist.
Special Olympian Killed In Miami

Danny Perez's bedroom was plastered wall-to-wall with medals, ribbons and trophies for his athletic accomplishments.

Danny Perez was a local hero in Miami, a Special Olympics gold medalist and someone who represented hope and inspiration in the world of the special needs.

Danny overcame all obstacles. He was born developmentally disabled but beat the odds -- worked hard and graduated from his beloved Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School.

After graduation, he didn't stray far. Danny returned to his alma mater and worked his way up in the athletic department as assistant coach.

Players came and went, and the same for coaches, but Danny made the school his home away from home.

"He was the definition of pride and spirit for Hialeah and Miami Lakes and for me personally,” football coach Pedro Basnueva said. “I've been coaching there for seven years, and Danny never left my side.”

Danny was also a fixture at Hialeah's Edgar J. Hall Special Population Center. It was there that Danny trained for the Special Olympics. He traveled across the state and competed in multiple sports, including basketball, swimming, power lifting and cycling. He was a serious competitor, and his sister recalled how disappointed Danny was in himself when he took second place in a cycling event a few years ago in Tampa.

"Even with his disability, he was still always positive,'' said 27-year-old sister Gricel Gonzalez.

In 2008, Danny received the Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award from the Special Olympics.

“He was the pillar of the program,” said Florida Special Olympics Executive Director Mark Thompson. “He competed in cycling, soccer, power lifting and basketball."

His Miami bedroom is plastered wall-to-wall with ribbons, medals and trophies. Danny was proud of his accomplishments. Gricel said Danny's love was cycling, and he was never far from his beloved bike. Even in his last moments of life, Danny was with his bike.

Disability May Have Made Danny A Target

Danny Perez rode his bike all over Miami. Friends and family say he loved his bike, using it as transportation and for competing in athletic competitions such as the Special Olympics in Miami.

Danny rode his bike to compete and as transportation. Friends and family say it was not uncommon to see him biking late at night.

That's exactly what he was doing the night of Friday, March 12, 2010.

Miami-Dade Detectives say Danny was on his bike, heading west on 79th Street. At 11:30 p.m., a shot rang out, hitting Danny. Miraculously, Danny was able to dial 911 with his cell phone. These are his last words:

Danny: “I’m hurting.”
Operator: “Dade County Police and Fire.”
Danny: “Yeah, I got hit – shot by a gun.”

Danny did not survive. He died on the scene, next to his beloved bike.

Investigators now are trying to figure out why an innocent 36-year-old man like Danny Perez, who wouldn't hurt anyone, was shot and killed on the side of the road. Lead Miami-Dade Homicide Detective Jonathan Sabel is trying to unravel the puzzle.

"It’s possible that Danny was picked out and maybe targeted because of his disability, but it’s unknown at this time,” Detective Sabel said. “We don’t have a motive for this crime.” He said Danny’s 911 call is important to the investigation, giving them the start of a timeline of events.

No one has been able to make sense out of this murder. Detectives are hoping someone steps forward and does the right thing. Cops need more information on who the triggerman was.

And Danny's family has a lot of questions too.

"If that person hears me, I ask him to please come and say that he did that because this is terrible for all of us. I need to know why he did that to my son. It's terrible," said Danny’s mother, Gricel Mursuli.

In honor of Danny, his family has created a Web site: www.JUSTICEFORDANNYPEREZ.COM. The Web site is filled with memorial photos of Danny and information on how people can help.

As Danny's family continues to pray for answers, the Miami-Dade detectives try to solve this ruthless murder. They're pounding the pavement, asking questions and trying to piece together this homicide.

If you know anything about the murder of 36-year-old Danny Perez in Miami on March 12, 2010, call our Hotline right now at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

Wanted For:
Murder ; Mar 12, 2010
(Information valid as of April 16, 2010)

Television Airings:
»April 17, 2010
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Old 04-18-10, 04:12 AM   #2
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If I were God, I would want a do-over.
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Old 04-18-10, 12:06 PM   #3
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If I were God, that shooter would eternally regret the day he ever picked up a gun.
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Old 04-18-10, 02:58 PM   #4
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Looks like wrong place/wrong time scenario. 79th street (most of it) is crack/prostitution/gang central and at close to midnight, well... Life is cheap in Miami and its even more heavily discounted in that neighborhood.
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Old 04-18-10, 04:07 PM   #5
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I pray to god that I will buy myself some flowers and give it to Danny's family. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

I'm sorry for saying the word "god" but I cannot stress this enough. It's a very strong word, but... gee--

This music in the website ( will continue to remind me of Danny's family.

It's like Christophe LeCanne all over again, except that LeCanne got killed by the drunk driver. *sob*
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Old 04-19-10, 02:05 AM   #6
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What a great lost! A very sad story indeed...
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Old 04-19-10, 01:06 PM   #7
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I'm a little curious, too, about the second guy riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. That's a bit of a coincidence. In any case, it's a horrible tragedy, and I can't imagine why anybody would want to shoot a Special Olympian cyclist. Maybe it was random. Maybe he was being robbed for his bike.

I hope they find the shooter. I'm not sure that will really help the family, but if his parents are aching to known why ... they should at least get their small consolation.

Originally Posted by Passage4 View Post
If I were God, that shooter would eternally regret the day he ever picked up a gun.
If I were god, I would have used my god-powers to prevent the gun from going off in the shooter's hands. Shame the real god didn't see fit to do that.
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