Norris Cole didn't want any problems at his neighborhood bar. That desire to maintain peace might have put him in the middle of a tragedy.
Cole and bar patrons Jean Evans and Espe Pierre, all of North Dade, died in a triple shooting around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the bar at 18450 NE Second Ave. The owner, a relative said, was trying to break up a fight.
The shooting’s aftermath brought around 30 to 40 friends and relatives Thursday morning, expressing their grief in ways from howling to scowling, outside the crime-scene tape that halted business in the warehouse district.
“He's the last one. There's 10 of us,” brother Billy Cole said. “He's my good brother. My very, very good brother.”
Norris Cole, also known as Name Brand, leaves behind four kids who live in Georgia and a widow. He’s not related to the former Miami Heat player of the same name.
Billy Cole and Donovan Sinclair, a tenant in one of Billy Cole's houses, both said Norris' unnamed establishment, open for two years, was less a club than a neighborhood bar.
Three churches have services in the same rectangular two-story box building, which blends into the area. Between respect for the churches and a lack of parking, Cole’s place usually doesn’t get going until after night services. The building, one of seven in the area owned by Greene Properties, is zoned for industrial and light manufacturing.
A nephew of Norris Cole's who didn't want to be identified said this was the first trouble he's heard of at the bar.
Police received a 911 call just before 10 p.m. Wednesday about shots fired, said police spokesman Detective Marjorie Eloi. Police did not release identities.
People at the scene described a previous dispute between Evans, 31, and Pierre, 38, that climaxed when one walked into Cole’s place and saw the other.
“They started to fight. [Norris] was in a room where he sleeps. He was very tired and went to lie down,” Billy Cole said. “He came out and told them to go outside with it. And the two of them started to shoot. I hear that a spare shot caught him in his head. And the three of them died.
“He wasn’t fighting. He was telling them to get out with that.”
Evans’ past includes three convictions for resisting an officer without violence, two for loitering/prowling, petit theft, trespassing in an unoccupied structure and aggravated battery by a prisoner. Pierre’s criminal past includes one conviction for criminal mischief between $200 and $1,000.
Police have said they’re looking for the driver of a silver newer model four-door BMW 5-series as being involved in the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or 866-471-8477; by text at 274637; or via the website.