Two weeks after Marlon Eason and Richard Hallman were shot dead within a few hours and city blocks of each other, Miami police told the boys’ families during an emotional gathering Wednesday night that they will spend night and day chasing down leads until the killers are caught.
“We have the puzzle. In order to complete that puzzle, we need that one missing piece,” Assistant Chief Anita Najiy said. “There’s somebody out there that has that piece.”
Richard, 16, and Marlon, 10, were killed March 24. The older boy, a student at Booker T. Washington Senior High, was shot that afternoon in Allapattah. Marlon died outside his family’s Overtown home that evening, shot in the head while bouncing a basketball.
The two shootings outraged the Overtown community, and devastated the boys’ families. During a gathering Wednesday night at the Culmer Center on Northwest Third Avenue, Marlon’s mother, Elizabeth Ruffin, pleaded with police to find her son’s killer.
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“Please find out who killed my baby. That’s all I’m asking,” she said, holding back sobs.
Richard’s mother, Tranell Harris, said two men caught on surveillance video dragging her son into Jackson Memorial Hospital attended his funeral on Easter Sunday. She questioned why they hadn’t been arrested.
After the meeting, Cmdr. Eunice Cooper, head of the department’s homicide division, wouldn’t discuss the two men, nor any details of the case. She said detectives are chasing down tips and are still working to determine a motive in the two shootings.
“We have some things going on but nothing I can discuss,” she said. “We’ve not been sitting dormant.”