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More than two decades ago, police say, Alejandro Cortes shot and killed a neighbor in Homestead and wounded four others after an argument over loud music.
Cortes was never jailed. Instead, he fled overseas.
But after 22 years on the lam, Cortes early Friday was booked into a Miami-Dade jail after being extradited from Mexico. Cortes, 59, must now await trial on a charge of first-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder.
He was returned to Miami-Dade by the U.S. Marshals Service and the State Attorney’s Extradition Unit.
Cortes is accused of killing Alberto Rodriguez, 19, on April 11, 1999, outside a home on the 1100 block of Northwest Ninth Court. Four members of the Rodriguez family, ranging in age from 18 to 44, were wounded, according to court documents.
The conflict started when the Rodriguez family called 911 about 2:30 a.m. to report loud music — and the sound of shots being fired in the air — coming from the porch of a house where Cortes lived. A Homestead officer showed up and asked the people in the house to turn down the music, and found no gun on any of the people on the porch, according to an arrest warrant.
After the officer left, one of the Rodriguez family members, Fidencio, rode his bicycle over to the house and “became involved in an argument” with Cortes. As the argument escalated, Alberto Rodriguez, his brother, walked over to intervene, Cortes pulled a gun and shot both of them, the warrant said.
When the brothers’ parents rushed to help, they too were shot, as was another woman in the family, police said. Alberto Rodriguez was pronounced dead on the scene, and the other family members were rushed to local hospitals.
According to an arrest warrant by then-Miami-Dade homicide detective Robert Wilcox, Cortes had retrieved the gun from its hiding spot under a mattress shortly before the shooting.
Court records do not yet list a defense attorney for Cortes, who remains behind bars at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.