A boxer who was organizing a plot to kill after an argument with a trainer is behind bars after, detectives said, the former Olympian took the first step to follow through by putting down a deposit on an assault rifle.
Mateo Attalla, the owner of BOXR Gym, said he was able to get things under control pretty quickly, and Azea Augustama is now charged with making those threats.
City of Miami Police said Augustama threatened to shoot up a couple gyms, including BOXR on Northeast First Avenue in Miami.
“He basically just got angry,” said Attalla.
Attalla said Augustama got into it with a trainer last week.
“I said, ‘Look, I can’t have you here. I got to revoke your membership,’” Attalla said.
That’s when Attalla said things got out of hand.
“He’s been putting a lot of crazy stuff up,” he said. “He was just sending text messages, putting some stuff on Instagram.”
Miami Police said they went through Augustama’s Instagram and found a video that a man shot of himself as he appeared to want to buy an assault rifle. Detectives also found a post with a picture of the Parkland shooter and a caption making the threats.
Police learned on Tuesday that Augustama put down a $150 deposit for an AK-47 at an Opa-Locka pawn shop.
The employee, who asked not to be identified or show his face on camera, spoke with 7News on Wednesday.
“He saw the firearm on the wall, and he said he wanted to purchase it,” said the employee.
Surveillance video captured Augustama, seen wearing a blue T-shirt and dark colored pants, holding the rifle.
“He said he felt powerful when he held the gun,” said the pawn shop employee.
Augustama filled out paperwork before he put down the deposit. However, he lacked the proper permit to buy one.
“He didn’t have a concealed weapons license, so yes, like seven days,” said the employee.
The surveillance video also captured what the suspect said to an employee.
“I’m not sure what’s gonna happen on the 22nd, an important date,” he is heard saying.
Police took this statement as a threat and apprehended Augustama.
On Wednesday, he faced Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer.
“If not for him having a concealed weapons permit, I believe that he would’ve purchased a firearm and could’ve carried out his threats,” said Miami Police detective Ludwig Refuse in court.
In 2010, 7News featured Augustama for helping his home country of Haiti after a devastating earthquake.
“To wake up in the morning and first thing you see is the suffering of the people,” he told 7News at the time.
Augustama boxed in the 2018 Summer Olympics, butnow, instead of a boxing ring, the 39-year-old is spending time in a jail cell.
“We know that something’s wrong with him, so we immediately handled it,” Attalla said.
In court, a judge set Augustama’s bond to $3 million. He has also been placed on house arrest and was told to stay away from the victims and the gyms.