Still wearing his blue hospital gown and beige socks, Jamarie London — the 11-year-old who was shot earlier this week when he walked outside to talk to his brother — barely whispered what he wanted most now that he was home.
“I want to be safe,” he said as he sat next to his grateful mother.
Jamarie’s homecoming Wednesday came as more than 30 Miami-Dade police officers including majors, lieutenants, sergeants and detectives, knocked on dozens of doors in a two square-mile area near where Jamarie was shot to pass out fliers in hopes of finding the shooter or shooters.
“This young man, thank God, he is a miracle,” Maj. Samuel Bronson said. “Thank God he is home, he’s doing fine. That’s not how it was Monday night. We didn’t even know if he would live to see the next day.”
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By Thursday, his mother said, Jamarie was moving around more easily. “We’re taking it day by day,” she said.
It was just after 10 p.m. Monday when Jamarie’s mother, Kristi Stewart, sent him outside of their home on the corner of Southwest 173rd Street and 103rd Avenue, due east of Zoo Miami, to check on his older brother, who was taking out the garbage. Jamarie is the second-youngest of six children.
“Our kids can’t even go outside,” said Stewart, who knows the outcome could have been much different. “I could be having a funeral today instead of taking him home.”
Stewart said as soon as her boy walked outside she heard gunshots. She didn’t think much of it because “we hear them all the time around here.”
But it’s what happened next that made her realize that the gunfire was closer than she thought.
“He came in and said ‘Mom, I was hit,’” she said.
He was taken by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. His mother stayed with him as he recovered from the bullet that pierced his right side and went through his back.
“He really got lucky,” his mom said. “They say he will make a full recovery.”
Police want to find the shooter or shooters, but all they have to go on was the shooter was in a dark SUV.
Before the officers spread out to knock on doors, Bronson reminded everyone why they were there.
“The goal here is to create awareness,” he said.
Monday’s shooting is yet another in a string of violent acts against teens and children. An ongoing Miami Herald series dubbed Young and Under the Gun found that more than 300 children and teens died by gunfire in Miami-Dade County during the past 10 years.
Officers are hoping by upping the standard $1,000 reward for information to $6,000 it will help bring in more tips.
“As we all know, anytime that you have youth injured as a direct result of any kind of violence, particularly gun violence, then you get more people involved,” Bronson said of the increased reward. “Not to say others aren’t involved with any violence, but when you have a kid they are our future and that is just not a form of ritual. They are truly our future.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).