Just before 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day, gunmen in a dark blue sedan stopped in front of a bright pink home in Northwest Miami-Dade and opened fire on a group of adults and kids who were outside.
Miami-Dade police believe four or five males were in the newer-model vehicle, which raced from the scene at Northwest 81st Street and Northwest 14th Avenue in Miami’s West Little River neighborhood. They left behind seven injured victims, four of them teenagers. Six were in stable condition Monday at local hospitals, but one 17-year-old girl, Tamyra Milfort, remained in serious condition.
“I feel terrible, and the violence needs to stop,” Percilla Scott, grandmother of one of the victims, said to Miami Herald news partner CBS4 in an interview outside Jackson Memorial Hospital. “There are too many young people getting hurt. Too many drive-bys.”
Scott’s grandson, Alfredo Hudson, 30, was shot five times, including once in the mouth.
One neighbor told the Miami Herald she thought she heard fireworks outside at the time of the shooting. She wasn’t sure what had happened when police and paramedics arrived and taped off the block, thinking perhaps there had been an accident.
“I heard firecrackers — that’s what I thought they were,” said Shannon McGowan, who lives across the street. “Then I saw some kids running back into the house.”
Bullet casings were gone and the neighborhood was quiet on Monday morning. Shreds of police tape and a few latex gloves lay in the grass. Drops of dried blood, each about the size of a penny, spotted the sidewalk near the scene of the violence, ending at an unused triage tag left behind by emergency responders
A few feet away, a bullet hole pocked an iron fence in front of the house next door.
Police released the names of the other victims:
▪ Tekeiki Taylor, 43
▪ Alfredo Hudson, 30
▪ Ramont Gage, 15
▪ Dewayne Hammet, 18
▪ Aaliyah Barr, 17
▪ Shaquanna Ross, 20
The motive had not yet been determined. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
“We’re not going to have a generation because they’re all being killed,” Scott said.
Although no one died in Monday’s shooting, the incident marks a grim start to 2017 after two years of gun violence in Miami-Dade’s poorest neighborhoods — where too often the lives of young people were taken by shooters.
Just in the first three months of 2016, 10 people younger than 20 years old had been killed. In August, two teenagers in Miami’s Liberty Square were killed during the first few weeks of school. In September, an 8-year-old was shot in the head days after beginning fourth grade. She died two days later.
According to school district data, at least 60 children and teens were shot in 2015.
Data from a gunfire detection system used by Miami Police show that more than 8,000 bullets fell in Liberty City, Little Haiti and Overtown between March 2015 and March 2016. Many times, the gunshots don’t hit a victim and the shooting goes unreported.