New suspect in Miami cop killing


Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 12:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 12:02 p.m.

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A man accused of killing a Miami police detective was taken into custody Monday, after authorities named him the shooter and prosecutors dropped attempted murder charges against another man.

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Miami area police officers honor Detective James Walker as his body is taken away, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 from the North Miami Beach, Fla. crime scene where he was found shot to death. Walker is the fourth police officer killed in south Florida in recent months. Walker's body was taken away in a police caravan.

Pat Carter/The Associated Press

Andrew James Rolle, 20, was taken into custody at the Miami Police station and later transported to the North Miami Beach Police Department, said Sgt. Warren Hardison.

Rolle was named by North Miami Beach officials as the new suspect in the Jan. 8 slaying of the Miami Police Department's James Walker, who was shot with an assault weapon. Rolle had been arrested Jan. 5 on misdemeanor loitering and prowling charges but was released on $500 bail, according to jail officials.

North Miami Beach Police Chief Rafael Hernandez would not divulge any details about how Rolle was identified as the shooter other than to say that unspecified technology provided assistance. An arrest warrant in the case was ordered sealed.

Walker, 30, who was off duty at the time, was found slumped over the wheel of his unmarked police car with his service weapon in his hand. He had been shot multiple times and an AK-47 assault rifle was found at the scene outside a North Miami Beach apartment complex.

Police initially identified the main suspect as Ricardo Ajuste, 21, who had been arrested early Wednesday. Authorities last week said Ajuste had opened fire on a couple in a car near Walker's vehicle, but now the story has changed.

Ajuste, identified by police as a gang member, was originally charged with two counts of attempted murder in that shooting but those charges were dropped Monday, said Assistant State Attorney Abbe Rifkin. Ajuste remained in custody on unrelated charges and may still have information about the Walker slaying, Rifkin said.

"We determined that that individual was not involved as a shooter in this case," Rifkin said. "At this time we are still investigating what his involvement, if any, was. However, we are not looking at him as a suspect in that shooting at all."

Walker, who was in the North Miami Beach area to visit his wife, was buried Saturday.

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