Javier Burgos has been the main suspect in the shooting deaths of Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts janitors June 2013, for nearly four years.
After being brought back by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from Colombia on Thursday morning, Burgos confirmed that detectives had suspected Burgos was responsible for the murders of Ted Orama (56) and Christopher Marshall (48).
Although West Palm Beach Police Chief Sarah Mooney wouldn’t go into details about Burgos’s arrest, she stated that everyone involved was happy to finally have an arrest after many years of investigation. Burgos was taken into custody Thursday at the Palm Beach County Jail. He is due to appear for bond hearing Friday morning.
She said that “Things just fell into position perfectly (Wednesday).”
Mooney stated that many agencies, both local and federal, assisted over the years to get to this point and hopes it brings closure for the family.
She said, “They’ve waited for a number of decades for a solution to this case. Our goal from the beginning was to give justice.”
L.J. Marshall’s brother in law, L.J.
“We thought you guys had lost hope, but we know you guys worked hard. Ugarte expressed his gratitude.
Check out who has been booked in the Palm Beach County Jail
Marshall and Orama were shot to death by another custodian in the maintenance area of school, just west CityPlace at 6:30 a.m. on June 19, 2013.
Soon after the deaths of their victims, Burgos became a suspect in the murders. After his car was discovered in El Paso (Texas) several months after the shooting, police suspected that the Colombian native had fled to the United States.
Burgos was arrested in connection with the shooting in 2014. According to the police chief, a warrant was issued for Burgos’ arrest in August 2016. Mooney didn’t give details about how the warrant was issued. Police claimed Burgos was located in a rural part of Colombia.
According to Mooney, Burgos visited the U.S. Embassy Colombia on Wednesday and asked for guidance from the embassy to allow him to return to the United States in order to face two first-degree murder cases in relation to the deaths of the janitors. Burgos was accompanied by FBI agents to Miami. He was detained by U.S. Marshals. On Thursday morning, police detectives interviewed Burgos and he admitted to the murders.
The Chief of the Palm Beach County School District Police, Lawrence Leon, stated that the arrest brought closure to Marshall and Orama’s families, as well as those at Dreyfoos.
He said, “It was like a family for students and staff.”
Mayor Jeri Moio stated that she spoke with a member of the school board Thursday morning as the news broke. The member was so shocked, and told the mayor that some school employees had been worried for years about the possibility of the gunman returning.
Muoio stated that he had been worried for years about whether this person would return to hurt him. “So, I believe this is going to provide relief for so many people in many ways.”
Alphonso Mayfield was the president of Florida Public Services Union. He told The Post that the arrest would provide answers to the questions he and his union members have. Marshall and Orama were both members.
Mayfield stated that he has many questions about the circumstances surrounding Mayfield’s death and how they found him. “There is a feeling of relief. “I’m glad the family will get closure. I hope justice will be done.”
The school district and the union have changed their policies since the shooting. It used to be common for custodians to work alone. Now they work in pairs. A zero tolerance policy is also in place regarding weapons. Mayfield stated that a custodian lost his job after he brought a gun with him to school and kept it in the car.
A quality public service council is also now in place, which includes representatives from both the school and the union.
The history of violent and odd behavior by the former Dreyfoos Janitor is well documented.
Burgos was accused in school records of trying to sell a gun on school grounds to another custodian, as well as gripping his crotch infront of a female colleague and challenging another co-worker into a fight. Burgos was the subject a number of complaints to school officials and police during his time at the school.
Burgos met with Orama and Dreyfoos administrators in August 2010 to discuss his attendance and behavior.
Van Arsdale assured him that guns are not allowed on campus. Van Arsdale also stated that touching or scratching oneself in the presence other people falls under the definition of sexual harassment. Burgos was encouraged by the principal to report any issues and seek assistance through an employee-assistance program. It is not clear if Burgos ever did.
Burgos expressed interest in moving schools closer to his home and was encouraged to do so.
Arsdale stated that “I believe it is in everyone’s best interests if you seek out a position elsewhere.” According to documents.
Monty LaParche (the central custodial coordinator) told Burgos that the custodians felt threatened and uneasy by Burgos’ behavior. Burgos stated at the meeting that he has an anger management problem and that he didn’t want Burgos’ behavior directed at students.
He said, “Javier. We know that you have guns and a history for inappropriate behavior.” “The custodians feel threatened.”
Burgos blamed his coworkers for Burgos’s behavior and claimed they were provoking him.
“I am not a troublemaker. They are not a problem. They make me angry. He said, “They know I get mad.”