Suspect in Miami police officer's death in custody

Associated Press
Published January 10, 2008

MIAMI - A gang member in custody accused of firing his AK-47 as he ran through a North Miami Beach apartment complex is the main suspect in the shooting death of a police detective, officials said Wednesday.

Ricardo Ajuste, 21, of Miami has not been charged with Miami police Detective James Walker's death yet. He was held without bail. Neither jail nor court records listed an attorney. Ajuste was arrested early Wednesday on two counts of attempted murder with a firearm. He is accused of opening fire on a couple in a car near Walker's vehicle Tuesday, police Lt. Bill Schwartz said.

He continued firing as he ran through the apartment complex, and Walker was apparently caught in the cross fire in an alley, Schwartz said.

Walker was found slumped over the wheel of his unmarked patrol car with his service weapon in his hand, Schwartz said. The weapon had been fired. Walker was shot multiple times with a high-powered weapon, police said.

An AK-47 was found at the scene. Police are analyzing fingerprints and comparing the weapon with bullets taken from Walker's body to see if they match.

"If it all matches up with Ajuste, he'll go from being a suspect to being charged with the murder of Detective Walker," Schwartz said.

Walker was off-duty and at the apartment complex to visit his estranged wife, Schwartz said.

Before his arrival, Ajuste "in an apparent jealous rage" opened fire with his AK-47 on a man and a woman inside a car, Schwartz said. They fled, and Ajuste ran after them while continuing to fire his weapon. The relationship between the couple in the car and Ajuste was not clear.