On his MySpace and Youtube pages, Ronnie Candelaria is an odd presence, obsessed with kung fu master Bruce Lee and enamored of remixing videos of violent fight scenes with heavy metal tracks. In real life, the 21-year-old Kendall man was into guns and could be intimidating, acquaintances say.
But no one expected what happened yesterday morning, when Candelaria showed up at a friend's house in West Kendal armed to the teeth, blasted through the door and killed the man and his mother. Police say Candelaria later blamed voices in his head for the murder spree.
Update: Candelaria's family has issued a statement expressing "deepest sympathy," acknowledging their son had schizophrenia, but adding that the condition had been "effectively managed" through medication and that he'd always been a responsible and legal gun owner.
The killings happened in a West Kendall suburb called Arbor Court just before 4:30 a.m. yesterday. Anthony Sikora, a 23-year-old Miami Dade College student, and his mother, 62-year-old nurse Gale Sikora, were mowed down in a hail of gunfire inside their townhouse. Off duty cops in the area heard the gunfire and rushed to help, MDPD says.
Just minutes after the shooting, police found Candelaria sitting in a car three blocks away; his parents had called police earlier in the morning to report he'd taken their car without permission, and an officer later described him as schizophrenic and off his medication, the Miami Herald reports.
Candelaria was sitting in the white Toyota next to several weapons and rounds of ammo.
"Candelaria and Anthony Sikora were friends," Det. Alvaro Zabaleta says in a statement on the case. "Candelaria also stated that voices in head told him to do it."
Sikora and Candelaria were friendly, but the shooter had apparently begun scaring him lately. "I told him that Ronnie was all talk," Marcelo de Vivo, another friend, tells the Herald. "This is unbelievable. It makes no sense."
But Candelaria's online presence does give hints that he was fascinated by violence. His YouTube channel has only a few videos, but one is a violent sequence from the "Punisher" movie dubbed over with "God of Waar," a metal track by Dirty Wormz.
On another YouTube page and his Myspace account, Candelaria uploaded dozens of videos of Bruce Lee, some reset to other metal tracks.
"I make Bruce Lee Tributes/Music Videos for fun and so the People of Youtube and The Internets CAN ENJOY LOL" he writes in the bio section of the page. His GooglePlus page lists his occupation as "occupied LOL" and his bragging rights as "FREEDOM OF SPEECH LOL."
He's been charged this morning with two counts first-degree murder.
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Here's the full statement from Candelaria's family:
The Candelaria family wishes to express their deepest sympathy and regret for the horrible loss suffered by the Sikora family. The Candelaria's son Ronnie had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. His condition was effectively managed through medication and they are at a loss to understand why his condition so tragically deteriorated. Ronnie lawfully acquired firearms before he was diagnosed and had always exercised care and responsibility in the handling of firearms.
The Candelarias have no words to express their sorrow and pain over what has happened. They ask that you pray for the Sikoras in their loss, that God may bring them some comfort in the midst of this unspeakable tragedy. They will cooperate fully with the police in the investigation of this incident in the sincere hope that future similar tragedies can be avoided.
The Candelarias ask that you respect their request for privacy during this impossibly difficult time.