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Miami man shot to death wheelchair-bound panhandler, police say

MIAMI (Reuters) - Miami police arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting a wheelchair-bound panhandler at an interstate exit ramp before fleeing from officers, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said Rodney Louis, 27, was charged with first-degree murder, grand theft, and fleeing and eluding police following Tuesday's incident.

"Witnesses stated that a subject exited his vehicle with a firearm, approached the victim and opened fire," the police department said in a statement.

It said the suspect fled in a gold Chevy Impala, which was later spotted by officers. He then crashed into another vehicle and was taken into custody without incident, it said.

"Investigators were able to confirm that the subject apprehended inside the vehicle was the shooter," police said.

Police identified the dead man as Israel Zerquera, 58. The Miami Herald said he was a popular panhandler who was well known in the area of Interstate 95 and N.W. 95 Street.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)