Paroled Felon Beats Woman to Death

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Early in the morning on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at the Miami City Ballet in Miami Beach, Florida, a security guard discovered the body of Andrea Doria Dos Passos, a 37-year-old transgender woman who had been homeless, on the building’s steps at 2200 Liberty Avenue. Initially mistaken for a sleeping person, she was later found to have been brutally murdered.

Gregory Fitzgerald Gibert, a 53-year-old man with a history of violent offenses, was arrested and charged with the murder. 

The arrest report detailed that Dos Passos reached the location around midnight and positioned herself near the entrance. Surveillance footage captured Gibert arriving later, scanning the vicinity. He was then seen picking up a metal pipe. According to the report, while Dos Passos was asleep, Gibert approached her and repeatedly hit her in the head and face with the pipe. After the assault, he threw away the pipe in a nearby trash bin and left the scene. Police reported that they have secured the metal pipe used in the assault and have collected the trash bin as evidence.

In an interview with the local media on Wednesday, Victor Van Gilst, Dos Passos’ stepfather, described the tragic events as their worst fears realized. He spoke about the family’s long-standing efforts to help his stepdaughter, who suffered from mental illness, escape homelessness. “We always enjoyed her company, though her recent behavior had become concerning, and she was frequently found wandering the streets of Miami Beach,” he noted.

On Wednesday afternoon, Miami Beach Commissioner Joe Magazine expressed his condolences: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and the victim.” 

The police arrest report revealed that the victim, previously known as Heitor Doria Dos Passos, had legally changed her name and gender in October 2023. The motive for the attack remains uncertain, and it is not clear if it was a targeted hate crime.

The victim’s stepfather expressed concerns that the murder might be linked to her transgender identity, saying, “I believe that the fact that she’s transgender had something to do with it.” However, Commissioner Magazine noted that there is currently no evidence to suggest the attack was a hate crime directed at her because of her transgender status, adding, “While our hearts go out to our LGBTQ community, who often find themselves targeted, nothing in the briefings I’ve received indicates this victim was targeted for their status.”

On Wednesday evening, Miami Beach Police Chief Wayne Jones released a statement regarding Gibert’s arrest, stating: “I have been actively engaging with local LGBTQIA+ leaders alongside my LGBTQIA+ Police Liaison all day, addressing their concerns and keeping them informed about the progress of the investigation. We are committed to collaborating with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office to ensure that justice is served thoroughly in this case.”

The Miami City Ballet offered cooperation with the ongoing investigation but refrained from further comment due to the sensitivity and active status of the case​. This incident has reignited discussions about safety and support for vulnerable populations in Miami Beach, mainly when the city is filled with tourists.

The local community held a candlelight memorial on Thursday, April 25, to honor Dos Passos. They remembered her as a beloved member who faced many challenges but was cherished by many​​. 

The case has drawn significant attention due to the circumstances of the attack and Gibert’s criminal background. Released from prison only days before the murder, he was on probation at the time of the attack​​. Gibert was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, April 24; however, he chose not to attend.

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