MIAMI – A man on probation for his role in the 1996 slaying of a Dutch tourist became a murder victim himself near the original crime scene, authorities said.
Xaviein Bendross, 28, was one of three men killed in a drive-by shooting Saturday at an intersection in Miami's crime-ridden Liberty City neighborhood, Miami-Dade County police said Monday. A fourth man in their car remains hospitalized in critical condition. No arrests have been made.
Bendross was on probation for his role in the death of 39-year-old Dutch tourist Tosca Dieperink at a nearby gas station.
"I think it's ironic — tragedy begets tragedy," said Miami-Dade police Sgt. Anne Bogen, who helped investigate the 1996 case. "It's terrible anytime anyone gets killed. It was tragic for the Dieperink family and I'm sure it's tragic for the Bendross family."
Dieperink was shot in the chest while sitting in a rental car. She and her husband had pulled into the gas station seeking directions to a mall.
Two young men pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and are still serving decades-long prison sentences. Bendross, then 16, was the driver of their getaway car and pleaded guilty to a robbery charge in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors. He was sentenced to 12 years probation, starting in 1998.
Dieperink's death rattled Florida's tourism industry, which at the time was still struggling to recover from the slayings of 10 foreigners in the state in 1992 and 1993.
A Miami-Dade County jury later ordered the rental car company to pay Dieperink's family $5.2 million for not telling the couple about the high-crime Liberty City neighborhood.