By David Ovalle, The Miami Herald
Police suspected Johnny Jean of pumping four bullets into the
house of his ex-girlfriend last week, then dousing her home with
gasoline in a futile attempt to burn it down.
Authorities said the dispute culminated Wednesday night when a
team of officers went to arrest Jean for attempted murder, kidnapping
After a brief confrontation, detectives said Jean pulled a handgun
and shot at two officers, narrowly missing them. Another officer
returned fire, killing Jean on the apartment balcony.
Police said they had gotten a tip from another law enforcement
agency that Jean would be in apartment 318 at a complex at 2150 NE
As officers ushered other occupants out of the apartment, Jean was
on the balcony threatening to jump. As officers approached, Jean
pulled out a gun and fired, police say.
Police would not release how many shots were fired during the exchange.
Sources close to the investigation identified the officer who
fired back as George Festa. He has been put on routine administrative
leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
In 2002, Festa was honored as officer of the month for his role in
arresting a man who shot six times at another man. His personnel
record was not available on Thursday.
Jean had a history of domestic abuse, according to police and
In 1998, Miami-Dade police arrested him for allegedly beating a
woman with a stick. The state attorney's office dropped the case
after the woman failed to show up in court.
Last month, Marie Charles, a former live-in girlfriend, told North
Miami police that Jean took her cellphone and slapped her.
A day later, Charles told North Miami Beach police that Jean
followed her and a male friend to a Home Depot store. Jean
''threatened to cut off her private parts, and Monday was going to be
her last day on Earth,'' according to a police report.
On March 1, Charles heard the sound of her house windows
shattering. She told police she saw Jean running away. Officers later
found what appeared to be four bullets holes in the window of
Charles' North Miami Beach house. Part of the house was doused with
Afterward, Charles obtained a restraining order, but Jean failed
to show up to court to accept it, police said.
In the restraining order petition obtained by The Herald, Charles
said Jean was ''obsessed'' with her and had ''harassed, threatened
and stalked'' her.
Charles could not be reached for comment Thursday.
This was the second police-involved shooting in that complex in
On Thanksgiving, a North Miami Beach officer shot and killed a
16-year-old who police say pointed a realistic-looking BB gun at
The officer, Rey Hernandez, has been cleared by police to return
to road patrol, but the state attorney's office is still
investigating the incident.
The department has come under fire from some members of the black
community for other shootings. In 2001, an officer shot a paraplegic
convicted drug dealer in a wheelchair four times in the back. The man
The state attorney's office cleared the officer, saying that he
acted in self-defense because the disabled man pointed the gun over