A bloody week: Woman shot dead in Little Haiti days after 3 others killed

A woman was shot death Thursday morning, bringing the death toll to four in shootings this week in Miami.

09/20/2012 9:33 AM

09/20/2012 10:14 PM

In a third straight day of deadly violence in the central Miami area, a barrage of bullets killed a woman standing on a lawn Thursday morning in Little Haiti.

Investigators discovered Jacqueline Paul, 37, shot dead shortly after 4 a.m. in front of a home at Northeast Miami Court and 56th Street in Little Haiti, said Miami police spokesman Willie Moreno.

About 25 green cones marked as many bullet casings that littered the lawn and street across more than two blocks.

No arrests have been made, but police are looking for a silver Chevrolet Cobalt that was seen leaving the area.

Early Thursday morning, Janine Chaery said she heard gunshots and screams outside her apartment.

“It was around 4:15 a.m. My neighbors were outside and people were saying there’s a dead body behind the car.”

Chaery said the victim was a woman she has seen many times but didn’t know personally.

The tragedy hit close to home, she said, because she lost her son to gun violence on the streets of Little Haiti in 2006. His murder remains unsolved.

“There’s always a shooting here. I stay inside. It’s not safe.”

Jacqueline Paul’s family members say she leaves behind two daughters, ages 9 and 12.

On Wednesday evening, another shooting across town at Northwest 52nd Street and 22nd Avenue left one man dead and two in the hospital. At 5:20 p.m., police say a red or maroon car was seen driving east on 52nd Street, when someone in the car opened fire on a group of men sitting in front of a vacant house.

Gassno “Gash” Owens, 29, was dead by the time police arrived. James McMinns, 27, and Cefalo “Self” Lewis, 28, were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where they were in stable condition.

The bullet casings left behind suggest that the shooter had an assault rifle, possibly an AK-47.

Neighbors gathered on the sidewalk as Miami-Dade police investigated, shaking their heads at another life lost.

Willie Haywood, 37, said he used to live in the area, but he moved away when he had children because it was so unsafe. He was back in the old neighborhood visiting friends and playing cards when the shooting happened.

“I stay over in Opa-locka now,” he said, “where it’s safer, I guess.”

At 5:30 a.m., just an hour after the homicide team cleared the scene, the shooters came back and shot up the vacant house again, police spokesman Roy Rutland said.

As Monday turned to Tuesday, the first shooting of the week left two people dead and another two injured. Brothers Mackenson Pierre, 17, and Yves Sylvester, 15, were sitting outside a home at 134 NE 68th Ter. around midnight with two friends when someone opened fire.

Police are looking for 18-year-old Barton Coy Hill as a suspect. .

Miami police could not say for sure whether any of the three shootings are connected, but spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said investigators are “not ruling anything out at this point.”

She said police need help in solving these cases.

“We most definitely need the input from the community in this,” Reyes said. “No matter how small the tip may be, it could be the missing piece that detectives need to solve a case.”

She said such information, “a mighty tool for investigators,” could be shared anonymously.

Rutland, the Miami-Dade police spokesman, said his team is in close contact with city police to investigate the rash of shootings.

“One of our biggest challenges is that we still can’t get information from the residents in the area,” Rutland said. “There are innocent people getting caught in the crossfire. This has to change.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Miami Herald staff writers Hannah Sampson and Tim Chapman contributed to this report.

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