Liberty City Mugger Shoots Mom In the Face In Front of Her Two Kids UPDATE

A nightmare scenario played out in front of a Liberty City restaurant yesterday when an armed mugger confronted a mother with two young kids in tow and demanded her purse. The mom, identified by her family as Evelyn Matamoro, handed over her purse without a struggle -- but then the mugger shot her in the face anyway.

Matamoro remains in critical condition this morning as police look for the shooter.

Update: Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting: 20-year-old Kamiah Lanier.

The horrific crime went down around 5:30 p.m. yesterday at a restaurant at NW 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, says Kenia Reyes, a Miami Police Department spokeswoman.

Matamoro was leaving the eatery with her two kids when the mugger attacked, Reyes says.

After shooting Matamoro in the face, the man fled the scene in a gray Dodge Charger.

Matamoro was rushed to Jackson, where she's still in critical condition.

Anyone with info on the shooting should call 305-471-TIPS.

Update: Police arrested Lanier, a 20-year-old with a serious felony record, after Matamoro helped identify him from her hospital bed. 

Lanier was charged with a series of felonies in August 2011, including armed robbery, aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, and attempted robbery.

He now faces new charges of attempted murder, armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and use of a firearm during a felony.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink