James Page, the father of a young girl shot to death outside her Northwest Miami-Dade home three weeks ago, on Thursday called the shooters “cowards” and said the past two weeks “have been hell.”
What Page, 32, didn’t say during a news conference at Miami-Dade police headquarters was if he knew or recognized any of the gunmen who left him with a bullet wound to his chest and his daughter Jada Page, 8, dead. Page, who police say may have been the intended target, also didn’t say if the shooters said anything during the barrage.
When pressed for more details about the ongoing investigation, Assistant Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez also deflected questions — stressing that Jada’s parents were there to appeal for information that could help solve the latest in a string of shootings that have killed innocent children.
“Once again we’re asking for the community’s help, like we did with King Carter and Amiere Castro,” Ramirez said, mentioning two other children whose lives were ended by stray bullets the past two years.
Page and Jada’s mother, Dominique Brown, sat next to each other in front of television cameras and struggled to control their emotions three weeks after a bullet changed their lives forever.
Breaking up several times, Brown spoke of her daughter’s love for swimming and bubbly personality.
“What would it kill you to tell us something?’ she asked, her question directed at the public. “Say something. Give us some peace of mind. We know somebody knows.”
Page said before being shot he recalled being outside the home at Northwest 25th Avenue and 102nd Street and seeing a black car pulling up, then hearing shots ring out as he loaded items into a car parked on a swale in front of the home. Page has four children other than Jada. Some of them also were inside the home at the time of the shooting.
“I tried to get to them as quick as possible. But I didn’t make it,” he said.
It was late afternoon on Sunday, Aug. 28, when a dark car with tinted windows, possibly a Ford Fusion, pulled up in front of Page’s single-story home and a shooter or shooters opened fire. Jada and her dad were getting ready to go to the movies. Jada was struck in the back of the skull just in front of the home’s porch. Her father was shot in the chest. The shooter or shooters got away.
Jada died while on life support two days later. James Page left the hospital in time to attend his daughter’s funeral last week. He’s still in recovery. A sling held his right arm in place during Thursday’s press conference.
Though police have received some tips, if they’re aware of a motive, they still haven’t made it public. They also haven’t named any suspects and are still working on the premise that James Page was the target of the shooting. They would not elaborate.
“The community has stepped up and we’ve gotten some information,” said Ramirez. “We just can’t get into specifics.”
Like 10-year-old Marlon Eason’s shooting death in March 2015 and the killing of King Carter in February, Jada’s death sparked community outrage. Church leaders and activists led walks. Family and friends pushed police for transparency in the investigation and blasted the community for not coming forward with information.
A Miami Herald investigation earlier this year found that as of March, 316 children and teens in Miami-Dade had lost their lives to gunfire. To combat the killings, a coalition of Miami-Dade groups announced an initiative earlier this month called Together for Children, that zeroes in on 20 zip codes and has identified about 2,000 children at high risk of getting caught up in the cycle of violence. The plan is for police, educators and others to try and mentor the children to break that cycle. Still, the shootings continue.