A former professional boxer has been arrested after Miami police say he was preparing to shoot up a gym.
Azea Agustama, 39, of North Miami, was jailed early Wednesday and charged with two felony counts of issuing written threats to commit a mass shooting, and one count of threatening to kill.
Known in boxing as the “Haitian Hitman,” Agustama competed in the 2008 Olympics in China for Haiti, as a light heavyweight. He also notched 18 wins as a professional boxer, often appearing on cards at Casino Miami Jai-Alai and other venues in the mid-2010s.
According to a police arrest report, Augustama was a personal trainer and had been a member of BOXR Gym, 1310 NE First Ave. But he had his membership revoked and was issued a trespass warning on Nov. 11 after he got into an argument with someone at the facility, police said.
On Tuesday, according to the report, Augustama called police saying he wanted to pick up his belongings at the gym. Then, he took to Instagram, posting a photo of the Parkland school mass shooter with a caption saying he “was considering shooting” a slew of people over being kicked out and “saying I touched a girl,” the report said.
Augustama also wrote he was “willing to shoot with an actual gun or bazoka [sic],” the report said. He also sent a picture to one of the people at the gym, saying “he’s first when I get my gun,” the report said.
But police say the threats weren’t idle. Augustama on Tuesday afternoon then drove to Auto Pawn & Jewelry in Opa-locka and placed a $150 deposit on an AK-47 rifle.
By then, details of the threats had been sent to Violent Crimes Cmdr. Kevin Ruggiero. Along with Sgt. Eladio Paez and Detective Joshua Lara, they began tracking his Instagram page — and managed to detain him at the pawn shop.
According to the police report, Agustama confessed to publishing the threats and buying the AK-47. He is expected to appear in Miami-Dade bond court on Wednesday afternoon. It was not immediately clear if he had retained an attorney.
Agustama was born in Haiti and moved to the United States as a young boy, graduating from North Miami Beach High. By age 15, he’d started winning titles around the state and world, building a 60-10 amateur record with the Hollywood Police Athletic League boxing team.
He made his professional debut in 2010, with proceeds of one early fight donated to relief efforts for survivors of the devastating earthquake that shattered the island nation.
“That will always stay in my heart,” Augustama later told the Herald. ”When you think you are having a bad day, there are many people in Haiti still struggling to rebuild their lives. That puts everything into perspective.”
This story was originally published November 23, 2022 10:04 AM.