Murder Miami Style: Suspect in Lib City Murder Gunned Down in Fort Pierce, UPDATE

Who executed a career criminal wanted in connection with a February slaying in Miami?

That's what the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department is trying to piece together this morning after a 21-year-old Miami native named Travis John Lattimore was found dead behind an a abandoned house outside Fort Pierce.

Lattimore's girlfriend, 35-year-old Sharpkina Yolanda Woods, was lying dead next to him. Both had been shot, Mark Weinberg, a spokesman for the sheriff, tells Riptide.

Miami police had a warrant out for Lattimore, considering him a prime suspect in a Feb. 8 shooting near Northwestern Senior High that killed a 30-year-old man named Erick Johnson.

UPDATE: St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara just finished a press conference with some intriguing new details in the case.

First, an autopsy showed that both Lattimore and Woods died of gunshots -- and that Woods was one month pregnant.

Second, Mascara says that police now believe the couple were shot inside a green 2004 Ford Expedition found across town the same morning the dead couple were discovered.

The Expedition belongs to Woods' mother, but the couple had apparently been driving it for some time.

Here's what happened in the Miami muder case in Februrary involving Travis Lattimore, according to an arrest form Riptide obtained this morning:

Johnson was standing outside a neighborhood grocery near NW 15th Avenue and 69th Street when Lattimore pulled out a chrome-plated handgun and blasted him.

Lattimore hopped on a purple bike and fled a few blocks north, police say.

He ditched the bike outside a house near NW 14th Place and 71st St., hopped into a green Ford F150 pickup and sped off.

Lattimore had a distinguished criminal career, according to Riptide's records search. His criminal record stretches to eight printed pages, and includes counts for cocaine posession, battery, assault, carrying concealed weapons, burglary and stalking. He also had a previous first degree murder charge in 2008 that was dropped a few months later.

Miami police were still looking for the 21-year-old on Sunday when some kids playing near an abandoned home outside Fort Pierce found his bullet-riddled body.

Anyone with info on the case can call the St. Lucie Sheriff's Department at 1-8oo-273-8477.



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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