By Gilma Avalos, Brian Hamacher and Diana Gonzalez, NBCMiami.com
A Miami Gardens car wash owner was shot and killed when he tried to stop a robbery near his business Sunday afternoon, family and friends said.
The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. near the car wash at 191st Street and Northwest 2nd Avenue when two men tried to rob one of Errold Peart's customers.
"Somebody tried to hold up one of his customers, he of course went over to him and and they shot him, twice," said Tanya Solis, Peart's friend. "He lost his life trying to save another's."
But family members told NBC 6 South Florida that this wasn't the first armed robbery the 59-year-old was a victim of.
"From November to December every year, that's his busiest time from now back to spring, and every single year at this time he got held up every year and he escaped every single one," said his wife Dawn Barrett.
She said that Peart decided to arm himself after being shot at one day.
"That's when he decided to get a gun for his protection," she said. "He hates guns so bad you see. Crime has to stop. It has to stop, it has to stop."
Family and friends say Peart dedicated his life to the car wash business, spending seven days a week there.
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"Everybody knew his name, this place was always packed with cars," customer Lina Wallace said.
"He gave his own life trying to help someone else, that's the type of person he is," said Damian Peart, the victim's son, who told NBC 6 that his father was shot once in the head and once on his left side.
He said Peart was always looking out for his community, quietly paying light bills for some, buying groceries for others. Peart had been a teacher at a school for troubled kids in Jamaica, said his son. That is why he always went out of the way to employ neighborhood kids when others would not.
"He's a man I know all my life," Barrett said. "I mean all my life dear God of mercy. I've known this man all my life. He's a good dad. He liked to help people."
Peart's wife said the two had been together since they met in high school in Jamaica. His 60th birthday would be Friday.
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Now, Damian said, his father needs the community's help.
"Please don't hesitate to call police or the hotline. This was a senseless crime," Peart's son begged.
Friends said they hope the business will stay open in memory of Peart.
"His legacy was here and everybody loved him and he was a hard, hard worker and he will be missed," said Solis in tears.
Miami Gardens Police are searching for two young men in connection the fatal shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.