|Published:||Aug 17, 2012 8:39 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 18, 2012 1:22 PM EDT|
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Authorities continue to search for a man wanted in connection with a murder and police shootout on the east coast. Thursday night, they surrounded a home in Lehigh Acres, only to find he was not inside. Neighbor on 55th Street Southwest watched as the whole operation played out.
"The U.S. Marshals came over and told us what they were going to do," Mike Bobbs said.
Thursday night, Bobbs and other neighbors had no idea their yards were about to become a staging area.
"They had a tactical unit, full gear and everything," David Harris said. "They had the shield, rifles, tear gas and guns."
The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force got a tip that Felipe Torrealba was hiding inside a home in the neighborhood. The 26-year-old is wanted in connection with a murder in Broward County and a police shootout in Miami-Dade County. What brought him to Lehigh Acres is a mystery.
"I haven't talked to him or anything, but I've seen him around," Bobbs said, looking at Torrealba's mug shot.
Bobbs said Torrealba, a pregnant woman and a child had lived in the home for about four months.
"They pretty much just kept to themselves," Bobbs said. "Nobody ever really visited them. They'd get there, go in the garage, and close it. That's all you'd see."
For hours, Thursday night, deputies, marshals, and K-9 units surrounded the neighborhood.
"Just them over the megaphone telling him to come out, they don't want anybody to get hurt," Bobbs recalled of the scene.
After getting no response, Harris said the teams moved in.
"They had a big ram truck coming in, that's when they knocked down the garage door," Harris said.
Despite their efforts, Torrealba was nowhere in sight. Investigators continued to search Friday, looking for evidence that might point them to their suspect.
Torrealba is considered armed and dangerous. While authorities don't believe he is a threat to the neighborhood, they still advise neighbors to keep their eyes open.