Update: Suspects accused of murdering Army Ranger claim self defense, police say he was unarmed

Police say they have arrested two men for their alleged connection to the shooting death of a infantry Army Ranger* on Christmas night outside a South Florida casino.

33-year-old Fernando Duarte was shot as he was leaving the Miccosukee Resort & Casino after winning a jackpot from a slot machine, according to the victims family.

Exactly what Duarte won or if the winnings had anything to do with his death, the Miami Herald reported.

A report by Diario Las Americas claims that eyewitnesses said Duarte had actually been playing poker and that “triumphs and disagreements” preceded the murder.  ABC news corroborated this report, stating “the suspects were playing poker at the same table as Duarte when words were exchanged.”

According to Miccosukee police, Duarte got into “a brief verbal altercation” with Mikey Tyquan Lenard and Kenin Sherrod Bailey inside the casino just before 7 p.m. on Christmas night.

When the fight escalated to the parking lot, Kenin Sherrod Bailey, 25, fired his weapon from inside a car being driven by Mikey Tyquan Lenard, who is also 25.

Officials later charged  Kenin Bailey and Mikey Lenard in the case.

According to the police report, Bailey allegedly shot Durate while driving past him, hitting Duarte once in the leg and once in the wrist.

“The co-defendant [Lenard] operated the motor vehicle and actively sought out the victim in the parking lot,” a police officer wrote on Bailey’s arrest affidavit.

Duarte was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he died during surgery, according to police.
Both men have been charged with first degree murder in the case and currently being held on no bond, reported NBC news in Miami.
Diario Las Americas reports the Duarte was vacationing in Miami for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

*The news reports are not clear about if Duarte was currently serving in a Ranger battalion or was just Ranger qualified at the time of the shooting.

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