BY DARK SLEUTH
Danny Perez was shot and killed on the night of
March 12, 2010 while riding his bike.
Danny Perez was an inspiration.
He did not have an easy life. Born in 1973 in Miami, Florida, Perez was developmentally disabled. He did not let that stop him.
In spite of the difficulties, he became a dedicated and accomplished athlete who lived a very independent life. Perez had part-time work and was very involved in his community, especially with the Hialeah's Edgar J. Hall Special Population Center. He shared an apartment with his brother and used his bike as his main means of transportation.
It was at Hialeah's Special Population Center that Perez trained for the Special Olympics. He competed in multiple sports including, basketball, soccer, swimming, power lifting and cycling.
Perez won many medals. According to Mark Thompson, Executive Director at Special Olympics Miami-Dade County, “He [Danny] was the pillar of the program.”
In 2008 the Special Olympics of Miami-Dade County and the City of Hialeah jointly awarded Danny Perez the Inspirational Athlete of the Year award.
According to a news article from NBC South Florida 6, Perez was, "[a] part-time coach, full-time inspiration and cheerleader" at Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School. He had graduated from the school in 1992, and returned to be a part of the school's athletic department. He worked part-time, coaching the football, basketball, and baseball teams for years. His dedication and work paid off, he became an assistant coach in the department.
Danny Perez leading the charge at a football game.
Tragically, Danny Perez's inspirational life was violently cut short on the night of Friday, March 12, 2010.
At around 11:30 p.m. Perez was riding his bike westbound towards Hialeah on Northwest 79th Street (NW 79th Street) in Miami between 17th and 21st Avenues when he was shot.
He called 911 from his cellphone:
911 Operator: "Dade County Police."
Danny Perez: "Yeah, I got hit. Shot by a gun."
According to Perez's mom, Gricel Mursuli, in an interview with WSVN 7 News, her son tried to speak clearly on the 911 call. She said he could be heard saying, "Something happened to me. They shot me." Although paramedics responded, they could not save his life.
Miami-Dade Police found security footage from a nearby store which showed Perez riding his bike. Trailing behind him by a few seconds was an unknown individual who was also riding a bike. Was that Danny Perez's killer?
On the Miami-Dade Police Department's Facebook post about the Perez case, Detective Sabel said in July of 2010, "It’s possible that Danny was picked out and maybe targeted because of his disability, but it’s unknown at this time... we don’t have a motive for this crime."
It is difficult and heartbreaking to imagine that the very things that made Danny Perez an inspiration to his family, friends, and community could elicit a cruel act of hatred from the person(s) who killed him.
Regardless of what may or may not have motivated Perez's murder, the case remains unsolved 6 years later.
Danny Perez and his family deserve justice. If you know anything, please have the courage and heart to bring peace to his family and community.
If you have ANY information on this case, please contact:
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: (305) 471-TIPS (8477)
* remember you can remain anonymous *
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers ONLINE:
You can submit a tip online! Remain anonymous and submit it in English, Spanish or French. Follow the link:
Please visit the following two sites run by the Perez family for more information and photos:
Sources of Information:
Perez Family Sites:
Miami-Dade & The Florida Keys Crime Stoppers (Unsolved Crimes):
Miami-Dade Police Department Facebook (Danny Perez Case Post, July 5, 2010):
NBC 6 South Florida article, "Gold Medal Special Olympian Gunned Down on Bike" :
WSVN 7 News, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale article, "Danny Perez", Aug. 7, 2013:
AMWFans.com, "Unkown Danny Perez Murder - Florida -2010" thread:
McClatchy DC article (from Miami-Herald) "Miami Police Search for Special Olympics Athlete's Killer," March 18, 2010: