Fatal Publix Shooting Highlights Growing Gun Violence in South Florida


Gaby Blanco

51-year-old Osmel Lugo-Guitierrez has been arrested as a suspect in the Ponce de Leon Boulevard Publix shooting.

Maria Odio, Staff Writer

A suspect who shot a man in a Publix checkout has finally been identified by the police. On Saturday evening, 51-year-old Osmel Lugo-Guitierrez shot 50-year-old Frankly Jose Pineyro in a lottery line at a Publix supermarket located on Ponce de Leon Boulevard. Later in the week, Lugo-Gutierrez was arrested by Miami-Dade police and was later detained without bail by a judge.

During the lottery line rush hour, Lugo-Guitierrez went to the Publix at around 7 p.m. As seen in surveillance footage, the man who was shot, Pineyro, was in the customer service line to buy lottery tickets. Lugo-Guitierrez then approached Pineyro, and an argument ensued. The cause of said argument is still unknown to the police.

Eventually, the argument escalated, and both men stepped towards one another. Pineyro then lunged towards Lugo-Guitierrez, and, as a result, lost his balance. Once Pineyro regained his balance, he again approached Lugo-Guitierrez, who then proceeded to retrieve a Glock 19 pistol from his waistband and shoot Pineyro in the chest.

I am a five-minute walk away from the Publix, so I was surprised when I heard there was a shooting there. Every time I go to that Publix nothing ever seems wrong, it always has a calm atmosphere around it. It is just people trying to get through their day,

— sophomore Victoria Largaespada

“Heated arguments between people happen often, there is always a misunderstanding between two people. However this case is different, this is a lesson because of the fact that you have to stop an argument from escalating especially when you don’t know the person. Arguing to come to an understanding with someone, not to win,” sophomore Eduardo Meonez said.

Pineyro was pronounced dead and Lugo-Guitierrez was charged with second-degree murder, committed in the heat of the moment, and was detained at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Lugo-Gutierrez’s affidavit stated that Pineyro was not armed, and no one else was hurt. At the brief court hearing where a judge sentenced Lugo-Guittierez to be detained with no bond, the defendant and his attorney, Daniel Izquierdo, both refused to comment on the case.

Because this is an active police investigation and a developing story, limited information about the case has been released to the media. Maria Brous, a Publix spokeswoman, spoke with Miami Herald and made a statement that counseling will be provided to store employees who are seeking it. Publix itself has refused to provide any additional details and opened the store the day after the shooting.

Since 2021, gun violence and threats of gun violence have surged. In addition to the Publix shooting, there have been several reports of people firing shots at cars in South Florida and school shooting threats being made by students across the county. Usually, these types of crimes are not located in Coral Gables, which is known as the “City Beautiful” and one of the safest neighborhoods in all of Florida. However, the Publix shooting has now resulted in escalating fear towards the prospect of gun violence resurfacing in nearby communities and, inevitably, Coral Gables.