17-year-old charged in Dade shootout
A teenager suspected of involvement in burglaries that led to a backyard gunfight with police has been charged with second-degree murder.
Posted on Tue, May. 27, 2008
By JENNIFER LEBOVICH AND JACQUELINE CHARLES
Three years ago, Kharl-Henry Lebrun was brought to Miami from Haiti by his father, who wanted his only son to escape the horrors of his homeland.
Today, the 17-year-old faces charges of second-degree felony murder, attempted murder of police officers, shooting a police dog and attempted armed burglary.
His friend and accomplice, Giovanni Thermidor, 18, was shot dead after opening fire on several officers, striking one three times, police said.
Miami-Dade Officer David Carrero, 27, remained at Jackson Memorial Hospital in good condition Monday; Lebrun was being held at the Miami-Dade Juvenile Assessment Center.
''If I knew this would have happened, I would have left him in Haiti,'' Jean Lebrun said about his son.
In Florida, a person who commits certain felonies in which someone dies can be held liable for that death.
On Sunday, the teens tried to burglarize at least three homes before parking at 1045 NE 169th Ter., according to Lebrun's arrest report released Monday.
The two were armed with a crowbar; Thermidor was also packing a 9mm semiautomatic handgun.
The two tried to break into the back door of a fourth home, but the people inside called police.
The teens jumped over a fence and pried open the back door of a house at 1050 NE 170th Ter., the report said.
The sound of police sirens sent the teens running. Lebrun was arrested at 1100 NE 170th St. Before getting caught, he had dumped his hooded sweat shirt and gloves in a trash can.
Thermidor, however, ran to another backyard at 1040 NE 170th Ter. where he opened fire on at least four officers, the report said.
Hit were Officer Carrero and a police canine.
Police fired back, killing Thermidor.
Carrero, who had joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 2001 as a public service aide and later became a patrolman with the Intracoastal District, was struck three times in the lower body.
''He's doing fine as far as I know,'' his father-in-law, Scott Harrell, said from North Carolina.
In 2004, Carrero was honored along with other officers for helping rescue two small children from a burning house in the 400 block of Northwest 82nd Street.
The officers pried off the window bars to save the children.
Carrero and his wife, Kristin, have a 3-year-old son, his father-in-law said.
The police dog, a Belgian Malinois named Rocco, was treated at Hollywood Animal Hospital and released Monday.
Lebrun confessed to his role in the attempted burglaries, Miami-Dade police said.
Both Lebrun and Thermidor had been arrested before -- including in March when they were arrested on burglary and robbery charges.
Thermidor, a former North Miami Senior High student, had been arrested four times since 2005, state records show.
On Monday, Jean Lebrun painted a portrait of his frustrations trying to discipline his son.
The student at North Miami Senior High was increasingly influenced by friends, including Thermidor, and Jean could not find a way to get his son to listen, he said.
''I would get on my knees and cry to him, telling him please give me a chance'' to raise him properly, Jean Lebrun told The Miami Herald.
Jean Lebrun said he only met Thermidor once, but that Kharl-Henry said Thermidor bullied him, threatening that if Kharl-Henry didn't listen, bad things could happen to him.
Thermidor threatened: ''You could even die,'' the father recounted.
''He was a good kid in Haiti, quiet, when he first came here he didn't have any problems,'' said Lebrun, who works the night shift as a valet at a condominium.
The father said he saw a change in his son beginning this year, and his grades began to slip.
He grappled with how to discipline his son, who had been coming home late and on occasion not sleeping at the house.
Lebrun said he even called police on his son. When Kharl-Henry hadn't come home on Friday or Saturday night, he intended to call authorities once again.
Instead, police called him Sunday to say his son had been arrested.
''I don't know what to do,'' he said, adding that he hasn't been able to eat since the call. ``I'm in shock.''