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Florida dentist shot in back 6 times by 2 USVI men

- Suspects captured attempting to board one-way flight to Territory
The suspects have been identified as Hector Ledesma and Ralph Benjamin, 39, the latter who police believe was flown into Florida for the sole purpose of hunting down and killing the dentist. Photo: Hialeah Police Department

MIAMI, Florida, USA- A Florida dentist was shot six times from the back on Friday, November 22, 2019 outside her Hialeah, Florida office by two men from the US Virgin Islands (USVI), according to the Hialeah Police Department.

The men were arrested in the Miami International Airport attempting to board a one-way flight back to the territory, police said. The victim sustained injuries in her face, neck and chest, and was in critical condition late Friday at the Jackson Memorial Hospital, with a bullet lodged near her heart, according to police.

The suspects have been identified as Hector Ledesma and Ralph Benjamin, 39, the latter who police believe was flown into Florida for the sole purpose of hunting down and killing the dentist. Mr Ledesma was living in Florida, but is from the US Virgin Islands.

According to police, the dentist, who was identified as Dr Carmen Ramirez, 59, was walking to her office on East Eighth Avenue and 41st Street Tuesday about 10:00 am, when she was shot. The suspects fired 12 shots, with six hitting the victim, police said.

In October, 2018, Mr Ledesma's cousin, Cydmarie Cruz, submitted an article to The Consortium on Mr Ledesma's behalf, who was once incarcerated at the infamous Virginia Red Onion Super Max Prison. The article detailed alleged abuse that Mr Ledesma, who had been incarcerated for 13 years and 9 months, endured. Mr Ledesma was serving time after being convicted of rape in the territory.

Mr Benjamin has an open case in the US Virgin Islands for possession of a firearm by a felon.

Hit job

According to police, Ms Ramirez is the star witness in an identity fraud case out of Orlando, where a man is accused of stealing $40,000 from her business. The fraud suspect is facing 3-5 years in prison, and after an investigation, police found out that the man, identified as José Ledesma, is the brother of Hector Ledesma.

Police reviewed several surveillance videos to identify Hector and Mr Benjamin. “This is a targeted shooting,” Hialeah Police Major Hubert Ruiz said. “Our victim has been victimised by the same group of people in increasing fashion over the past couple of years. Everything we’ve learned about this case indicates that it was an assassination attempt.”

Police revealed that Mr Benjamin pulled the trigger, while Hector drove the getaway vehicle.

“Benjamin was flown into Florida for the sole purpose of hunting down and killing our victim, and we also believe Ledesma’s relationship to his brother, who faces jail time, leads us to our motive,” Mr Ruiz said. “They have been identified via CCTV footage, independent witness accounts and photo lineups.”  

Surveillance videos also captured the suspects visiting the area to become familiar with the dentist's whereabouts a day before committing the crime, police said.

With the victim in an induced coma and in critical condition, Mr Ruiz acknowledged the possibility of the star witness of the case no longer being available to testify. “Just hours away — or really a plane ride away — from this becoming a cold case,” Mr Ruiz said.

Both men are charged with attempted, premeditated murder. No bail was granted.

6 Responses to “Florida dentist shot in back 6 times by 2 USVI men”

  • rock city (27/11/2019, 20:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Gun city
  • Hmmm (28/11/2019, 06:23) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thank God For CT TVs... We need some working ones in Tortola...A few covering the banking areas, the Major super Markets.. Trellis Bay. Cane Garden Bay... These Are great crime solving and crime preventing electronics.....Eyes in the Sky looking down... Great.
  • Two J (28/11/2019, 15:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Two Jack Donkeys.
  • NezRez (29/11/2019, 19:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's strange to me that people who do dirty deeds, want to stay alive and happy. So glad they caught these pieces of filth and hope they do life in prison. Kill and be killed! An eye for an eye! KARMA coming for you.
  • Oh Well (01/12/2019, 21:58) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    The US border patrol, homeland security, state department and so on were told not to allow any more BVI
    nationals into the USA a year ago. All I can say is 'duh'.

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