The City of Miami Gardens and Crime Stoppers are offering $30,000 for information that leads to the arrests of the people who killed 12-year old Tequila Forshee while she sat on her grandmother’s living room floor getting her hair braided.
Tequila was getting ready for her first day of school at Carol City Middle. She would have entered the seventh grade this year; her father said she wanted to join the cheerleading team.
Instead, last Thursday, a bullet pierced her head. Around midnight, she was pronounced dead at her grandmother’s pale yellow home on Northwest 201st Street and 42nd Avenue.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert urged any witnesses to come forward.
“A lot of times, people don’t want to get involved until it’s you,” Gilbert said. “It’s us right now. She was 12 years old. She won’t ever go to school, she won’t ever go to prom.”
Police say they are searching for four male suspects between ages 15 and 18 who were seen riding in the area on two bicycles — one person on each handlebar and two others riding the bikes. There may have also been a fifth suspect who fled on foot, Miami Gardens Deputy Chief Paul Miller said.
Tawanda Brown, Tequila’s grandmother, told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that she heard her dogs barking in the late evening hours while she braided her granddaughter’s hair. When she looked out the window, she saw several teenagers on bicycles on the street. Moments later, a hail of bullets tore through the front of the house, killing Tequila and injuring Brown in the leg.
“Our detectives have been working tirelessly on this case and have been in constant contact with the family on this case,” Miller said.
In response to the death of the young girl, Miami Gardens passed a resolution establishing its own Crime Information Reward Fund for tips leading to the arrest of suspects involved in murders and other crimes in Miami Gardens.
An anonymous donor donated $25,000 to the fund, asking that the money be used to catch Tequila’s killers. Crime Stoppers is also offering a $5,000 reward.
In the future, the city will allocate money from its general fund to the newly formed reward program. It also is accepting donations from the public.
Chantae Forshee, Tequila’s aunt and family spokesperson, needed a moment to gather her emotions at the Tuesday announcement. Nearby, Tequila’s father, Glenn Forshee, stood silent with dark shades covering his eyes.
“Somebody somewhere knows something about what took place that night,” Forshee said. “Whether it be a parent, a friend, a family member — someone knows something about those perpetrators.”
Tequila’s funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Upper Room Ministries, 3800 NW 199th St.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.