The upbeat rhythm of Haitian music on the radio contrasted sharply with the somber faces of neighbors on Tuesday morning as they described the drive-by shooting the night before that left two men in critical condition.
Miami-Dade Police officers were already on the scene at the time of the crime, following up on a search warrant at 132 NE 64th Street in Miami. The county police are handling the investigation since the warrant stemmed from a Gun Bounty tip that is handled by that department.
They saw a silver Toyota RAV4 speed by at around 3 a.m. and heard shots, said Lt. Rosanna Cordero-Stutz, spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Police.
The occupants of the car, which was travelling south of the house, began to shoot at two men who were standing outside but were not connected to the house that police were investigating. The officers returned fire, and the two victims, one 23 and one 31, were shot once each by those in the SUV.
The vehicle then fled the scene. It is unknown if the occupants of the vehicles were shot. The officers were not injured, and the victims were taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“I was asleep when I heard the shooting, but you know no one would take a chance and go out there,” said Leon Beaubrun, 61, who has lived nearby since last year. “All along this street there is crime on it, and it would be better for us if people know and they come to clean up the street. I hope they catch the people who have done this.”
As children rode by on bicycles and a woman peered from behind a curtained window across the street, the family of four sitting outside the house at the crime scene was quiet about what they had seen and said that they preferred not to be identified. One man who said he had just come for a week-long visit from Haiti seemed resigned to the violence he had witnessed the night before.
“I see death every day in Haiti,” he said. “It’s just a part of life.”
Police are looking for information on the vehicle and its occupants and are asking the community for help. If you have any information, contact Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at (305) 471- 8477.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.