PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies have arrested two men in connection with the 2016 murder of a Florida International University student in 2016, including the brother of an NFL player.
The two men, 25-year-old Donterio Rashad Fowler of Pinellas Park and 23-year-old Keondre Quamar Fields of St. Petersburg, are both facing first-degree murder charges.
Fowler is the brother of Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dante Fowler.
Miami-Dade police identified the 2016 murder victim as 21-year-old Michael Zaldua, a student and freelance photographer. Officers say Zaldua was shot and killed in an off-campus parking garage connected to the 4th Street Commons apartment complex in Sweetwater on Dec. 2, 2016.
At the time of the homicide, police say Fowler and Fields were attending school in Miami-Dade County.
According to a news release from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, investigators at the crime scene found cash scattered around the victim’s body, a loaded Glock magazine also near the victim’s body and a firearm inside of his jacket pocket. There was a large amount of blood at the scene, which a car had driven through, leaving a clear tire impression, the state attorney’s office says.
The release goes on to say that a subsequent search of the victim’s car revealed several large size Ziploc bags containing suspected marijuana and a small baggie of suspected cocaine. Additional evidence has been gathered since the homicide and supplemented the original investigation, leading to the charging of Fowler and Fields.
Both men are scheduled to make their first appearance before a judge in Pinellas County before being extradited to Miami.
“When a loved one is killed and there is no arrest, the family tragedy only deepens as time passes and questions remain unanswered,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Hopefully, the arrests of the alleged perpetrators of this homicide will provide some solace to Michael Zaldua’s family in the knowledge that the Miami-Dade Police Department and my prosecutors never stopped searching for those responsible for his death.”