1 charged after shootout, manhunt

Published On: Feb 21 2013 10:54:18 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 22 2013 10:51:49 PM EST

One man is charged in connection with a shootout, a house fire, and the ensuing manhunt in a Kendall neighborhood.

MIAMI -

One man was charged Thursday in connection with a shootout, a house fire, and the ensuing manhunt in a Kendall neighborhood.

Brian Howell, 29, is charged with possession of place to manufacture a controlled substance. He appeared in bond court Thursday.

Howell was taken into custody after an incident at 15415 SW 57th Street on Tuesday evening. He was bonded out of Miami-Dade County Jail Friday evening around 9 pm.

According to police, when officers approached the house as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, three men -- Brian Howell, 29; Dell DiGiovanni, 50; and, Michael DiGiovanni, 27 -- opened fire and ran off. No officers were injured during the shooting.

Dell DiGiovanni, Michael DiGiovanni
--Dell DiGiovanni (left) and his son Michael

A bullet hit a home about a block away.

A fire then started at the residence where police found Howell and the other two men. It's unclear what sparked it.

Sources told Local 10 Howell was found hiding in his neighbor's detached laundry room after the shooting. They said he fell, resulting in a bruised face he had during his court appearance.

On Wednesday afternoon, neighbors called police after they found a body hanging from a tree in a wooded area near Southwest 147th Avenue and 47th Street. When officers arrived, they identified the body as Dell DiGiovanni.

"It obviously happened right down the street," said Alex Napoli. "Pretty crazy."

Police are not actively searching for Michael DiGiovanni.

A charred body was found inside the house but it has not yet been identified.

During questioning, Howell told police he participated in a hydroponics growing operation inside the house. A judge ordered he be held on $5,000 bond despite prosecutors arguing that he's a flight risk.

Prosecutors said Howell will likely face additional charges.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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