The brother of Atlanta Falcons linebacker Dante Fowler has been charged with first-degree murder for the 2016 murder of a Florida International University student in a campus parking lot.
Donterio Fowler, 26, and Keondre Fields, 23, are charged with shooting 21-year-old Michael Zaldua to death on December 2, 2016, at the 4th Street Commons apartment complex on the school’s Modesto Maidique campus. a suspected drug deal has gone wrong.
Zaldua’s body was discovered after the shooting surrounded by cash with a gun in his pocket, a loaded Glock magazine nearby and “several large ziplock bags of marijuana and a small ziplock bag of cocaine” in the victim’s car, according to police. Local 10.
Keondre Fields, 23, (pictured left) and Donterio Fowler, 26, (pictured right) have been charged with first degree murder for the unsolved shooting of FIU student Michael Zaldua, 21, in a parking lot at a school complex
Michael Zaldua, 21, was shot at close range on December 2, 2016 on the campus of Modesto Maidique.
A tire print in Zaldua’s blood was also found at the scene – according to Miami Dade police.
A cold case team working on the five-year-old case was able to match tire pressure to the underside of Fowler’s 2014 black Dodge Charger. Blood was also found on the vehicle, prompting an arrest warrant for Fowler.
Donterio Fowler is the brother of NFL star Dante Fowler
The suspects were both students from ASA College in Hialeah at the time of the shooting Miami Herald, and lived in Pinellas County. Now the two have been booked into a Pinellas County jail to be extradited pending trial in Miami Dade.
“We eagerly await the transfer of the young Donterio to Miami so that we can ensure his early release,” Fowler’s attorney, Michael Grieco, said in a statement. “While there is little information available at the moment, all I know for sure is that Mr. Fowler committed no crime.”
Also listed in the arrest warrant was an empty 9mm shell casing in the vehicle, surveillance video of the vehicle in the parking lot at the time the murder took place and calls to Zaldua from Fowler’s phone in the days leading up to the murder.
Coincidentally, the phone was in Dante Fowler’s name, but his brother is said to have used it and listed the number on official records.
Dante Fowler is not suspected or charged with any involvement in the murder. He was offered a three-year deal in March 2020 to play with the Atlanta Falcons — in 2015 he finished third overall for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL draft after playing college football at the University of Florida.
The testimony of a third man whose white Audi A4 was caught after driving Fowler’s Charger into the garage was also cited in the warrant. The unidentified third man, who police said was an associate of the alleged killers, told police “he heard and saw two shots being fired”.
Zaldua’s body was discovered after the 11 p.m. shooting surrounded by cash with a gun in his pocket, a loaded Glock magazine nearby and “several large ziplock bags of marijuana and a small ziplock bag of cocaine” in the victim’s car
Zaldua was shot in the 4th Street Commons apartment complex on the school’s Modesto Maidique campus
Forensic evidence suggests Fields, who was reportedly in the back of the Dodge Charger, fired the shot that killed Zaldua, according to his arrest warrant. It’s unclear if Fields has a lawyer representing him.
The victim was a 21-year-old freelance photographer and student who was living with his mother in Doral at the time of his murder, according to the Herald.
“Hopefully the arrests of the alleged perpetrators of this murder will bring some comfort to the family of Michael Zaldua in the knowledge that the Miami-Dade Police Department and my prosecutors have never stopped searching for those responsible for his death,” he said. Attorney General Katherine Fernandez Rundle. in a statement.
“Loved ones deserve to know and deserve a good closing,” Miami-Dad Police Chief Alfredo Ramirez III said of the recent arrests.