Miami-Dade County’s north end, filled with gunfire the past two weeks, claimed seven more victims in three separate shootings Tuesday night.
In one incident, police said at least two shooters appeared from behind a home and strafed gunfire at a crowd gathered on a front lawn. Five people were injured, including a juvenile and a woman. They are all expected to survive.
A short while later and 15 blocks away, a man suffering some type of illness took his own life in the lobby of Northshore Regional Hospital before he could be admitted, police said. And shortly before midnight, a 26-year-old man named Philip Lee Williams was found dead from a gunshot wound just outside the Liberty Square housing project.
“It does seem we’ve had more shootings in the recent couple of weeks,” said Miami-Dade spokeswoman Detective Robin Pinkard. “At this time we don’t know if any of them are related. We’re investigating them all separately.”
Tuesday’s shootings continued a bloody trend in Northwest Miami-Dade that began a little less than two weeks ago and has cost two teenagers their lives.
Claudel Pinder, 17, one of six children in his family, was gunned down at the Trinidad Trailer Park, 8202 NW Miami Ct., just after 8 p.m. on Dec. 15. Witnesses said the shooter fled in a white newer-model Jaguar.
Six days later a 16-year-old, whose name police have not released, was shot multiple times at a Citgo Gas Station at Northwest 103rd Street and 12th Avenue and was in stable condition. Police said the teen was in the passenger seat of a Honda when someone drove up and opened fire.
The next night, a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot in the West Little River neighborhood, Miami-Dade police said. The teen was found dead on the 8000 block of Northwest 14th Avenue just after 7:40 p.m.
Then on Christmas Eve, while arguing with 23-year-old Jonathan Soto inside the Tropicana Bar at Northwest 79th Street and 10th Avenue, Cornelius Goodman, 31, pulled out a gun and took Soto’s life, police said. Goodman was captured and charged with second-degree murder.
With the exception of Goodman, none of the shooters has been captured.
It was shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday when police were tipped off to gunfire outside a home at 1775 NW 86th Terr. By the time they arrived, the victims had scattered. Police said they managed to gather the victims, who were all transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue with non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooters, according to Miami-Dade spokesman Detective Lee Cowart, appeared from behind an adjacent home and ran away after firing into the crowd of people on the front lawn.
Cowart said it’s possible others were injured, but as of Wednesday morning police hadn’t received any other reports from hospitals of gunshot victims, which is required by law. The shooters have not been captured, and police had not released a motive by Wednesday.
The injured — most were shot in the lower half of their bodies — ranged in age from 17 to 23. Three are teenagers, one is an adult woman, one an adult man. Wednesday morning police released most of their names: Taurean Neal, 22, Jada Miller, 20, Antwon Brown, 19, Ulysses Britt, 18. Police didn’t release the name of a 17-year-old male victim.
Detectives are investigating whether those shootings Tuesday night, at the home of the Wright family, are connected to the unsolved murder last summer of a former resident who lived there.
Giovanni Wright, whose mother still lives at the home on Northwest 86th Terrace, was shot to death in Miami Gardens last summer. He was riding in a car near Northwest 181st Street and Seventh Place when someone opened fire, killing him. The murder remains unsolved.
The latest violence in the north end, coupled with the shooting death of 2-year-old Carnell Williams-Thomas two weeks ago in Southwest Miami-Dade, sparked another round of angry tweets from community leaders. Carnell was shot and killed by a stray bullet as he played with friends in front of his Goulds home.
“We have to be better than this,” tweeted Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernanez Rundle. “We can’t let shootings keep happening. 5 people are spending the beginning of the New Year in the hospital & little Carnell Williams’ killer is still on the street. Don’t be silent. Act like these victims are your relatives.”
An earlier version of this story said the teen shot at a Citgo station had died. He survived.