PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. (WSVN) – A South Florida community is in shock, witnesses say the owner of an auto repair shop was fatally shot outside his own business in an altercation with a man, Friday morning.
7News cameras captured loved ones consoling themselves outside Phil and Lou’s full auto service in Pembroke Park as deputies from the Broward Sheriff’s Office investigate the death of owner Filippo Antonino.
“He’s a nice man who always wanted to help everyone, never said no, always positive,” said Micky, a friend of the victim. âIt’s amazing that something like this is happening. It’s just amazing.
Fighting back tears, Antonino’s wife later told 7News that her husband came to the United States when he was young. âMy husband came to this country at the age of 19, not knowing a single word of the English language,â said Anna Antonino. “Because he worked very hard, he became a decent and appropriate citizen of this country, and today he was killed for defending an elderly person.”
Witnesses said an elderly man wearing a University of Miami shirt was mowing the grass next to the repair shop when the subject approached him and began to harass him. Antonino saw the exchange and tried to help.
Ben Hue, an employee of the Antonino company, said the situation quickly got out of hand. âHe told the guy to leave the old man alone. The guy got mad at him and shot him, âhe said.
Surveillance video shows Antonino and the subject arguing. Witnesses said the subject pulled out a gun and Antonino told him to put it away. Subject then discharged the firearm, hitting Antonino twice.
âThen he put the gun in his pocket, in his shirt, put it down and walked,â Hue said. “He walked. He didn’t run away. He walked away. He left as if nothing had happened.
Paramedics transported Antonino to Memorial Regional Hospital. BSO later confirmed that he did not survive.
âThis person took my husband and he left me alone,â said Anna.
Antonino’s death has left his wife, two sons and other relatives wondering why he was shot. âA guy who decided to take justice and shoot someone who was an amazing person,â Micky said.
Anna said she and her husband were happy. Friday, she said, was the worst day of her life. “He was 57 years old and his life is gone, because someone decided to take his life away from him,” she said.
Customers and friends continued to come to the store all day Friday. Some who spoke to 7News described Antonino as a man with a big heart, so they weren’t surprised that he was trying to help the old man.
As for the man who pulled the trigger, Anna said she wanted to confront him. âI just want to look him in the face and I want him to understand what he did,â she said.
The subject remains vast. Authorities said he was around 5 feet 8 inches tall and bald.
If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a $ 3,000 reward.
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