For Immediate Release
Carjacker Who Shot Two People at South Florida Tow Yard Faces Life in Prison After Guilty Verdict
Note: Still images of surveillance video showing defendant Thomas Daniels pointing firearm appear at end of this release.
Miami, Florida – A Homestead man who held two people at gun-point, shot them, and stole their car and jewelry has been found guilty by a South Florida federal jury of carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury, discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possessing ammunition by a convicted felon. He faces life in prison.
Assistant United States Attorneys Elena Smukler and Dayron Silverio proved at trial that on February 14, 2020, Thomas Daniels showed up at a tow yard in Homestead, Florida, and attempted to break into a car parked just outside the yard. When he could not get in, Daniels approached the owners of the car who were inside the yard. Daniels pointed a gun at them, demanding that they hand over their jewelry and other items. One victim turned around and, with his back to Daniels, started to unclasp and remove his necklace. Daniels lost patience, shot the victim in the neck, and proceeded to yank the necklace from the victim’s collapsed body. As that was taking place, the second victim ran, trying get away. He was not successful. Daniels chased the second victim and shot him multiple times. Daniels robbed the second victim of his keys, which Daniels used to steal the car that he had earlier tried to enter. The two gunshot victims survived. A law enforcement investigation led to the arrest of Daniels.
Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. will sentence Daniels at 8:30 a.m., on June 13, in federal district court in Miami.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Christopher A. Robinson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, announced the guilty verdict.
ATF Miami investigated the case, with assistance from the Homestead Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elena Smukler and Dayron Silverio are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Paster is handling asset forfeiture.
This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 20-cr-20138.
Screenshots, Part of Government’s Trial Exhibit 2: