Belle Glade Sun

20-year-old identified as Belle Glade homicide suspect

Dwane Lowers

On his personal Facebook, 20-year-old Dwane Lowers is seen rapping with other members of the “3rd Street” gang from Belle Glade — a gang that had reputed problems with Randy Virgil Jr., who was gunned down violently in Pahokee this month.

Surveillance videos and witness accounts place Lowers at the site of a deadly exchange between Virgil and others. The incident happened at 600 E. Main Street in Pahokee, at approximately 3 a.m. on July 5. According to a report released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Virgil had become involved in a physical altercation in the parking lot of the U-Save in Pahokee following a Fourth of July dance at Club Coco. But as Virgil escaped the melee and tried running away, investigators say it was Lowers who pulled the trigger that sent a bullet into Virgil’s head.

About an hour and a half later at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach, Virgil was pronounced dead. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, deputies had very few leads, and no eyewitnesses to the fight or the shooting. After reviewing surveillance videos, and piecing together more information about the crime, detectives spoke with a few key witnesses who chose to step forward despite fears for their own safety.

The witnesses, whose identities will not be released due to the nature of the crime, corroborated what was seen in the surveillance footage: a fistfight broke out at the parking lot, with the victim fighting off a number of people and attempting to run away, when a shooter who had not been involved in the fight assumed a shooting stance, took aim at the victim, and fired.

The same witnesses pointed to a person by the name of “Wayne,” and positively identified him out of a photo array.

When he was interviewed, the suspect, with his mother present for an interview by detectives at his home, admitted that he was there when the shooting happened, but did not know who the shooter was. Lowers said he heard two to three shots ring out from behind him, at which time he ran back toward the club for safety. Police say videos show his story was a fabrication, and show him running south, not west, to a light colored car that helped him get away.

Lowers was arrested without incident and transported to jail on a charge of first degree murder.