The shooting of an 11-year-old girl in her Miami Gardens home Wednesday evening added another grim story in the current crime wave that has gripped the city.
The city has seen 10 shootings in the last 11 days.
This most recent incident took place about 10 p.m. when the suspected shooter pulled up near the home on the 19300 block of Northwest 17th Avenue in a white Dodge Neon, approached and opened fire. A bullet hit the girl, Kayla Duncan, police said.
The man then fled into the vehicle and sped off. Police described the suspect as a male in his 20s.
Kayla was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was in stable condition and is expected to recover.
Mayor Oliver Gilbert told Herald news partner CBS4 that 10 arrests had been made by 9 p.m. Wednesday night and echoed Wright’s message of heightened police presence.
“What we’re doing for immediate response is making it very uncomfortable for people to leave their house with guns,” Gilbert said to CBS4.
Miami Gardens, the third largest municipality in Miami-Dade County, was covered by the county’s police force until 2007. It currently has 212 officers and budgeted to add 10 more in the coming year.
The plan is to increase the number of officers on the streets, said police spokesman Michael Wright.
“Traditionally, as we approach the holiday season, we put more officers on the road for high visibility,” Wright said. “But, we’re looking to bridge the communication between police and the community.”
Miami Gardens’ six-year-old force says it can handle the multiple investigations, but the community is receiving assistance from neighboring agencies and the U.S. Marshals.
“We have a mutual aid agreement with several agencies,” Wright said. “In the event we would need aid, it’s there.”
The city continues to struggle with an apathetic “no-snitching” culture from residents. After the killing of 12-year-old Tequila Forshee in August, the city and Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers hoped to combat the stigma by offering a $30,000 reward for a tip leading to an arrest in the case.
Months later, no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information that could aid police should contact CrimeStoppers at (305) 471-8477.