Miami Gardens police said they have few leads in the brazen murder of James Hall, shot in the head late Sunday night in his driveway as his girlfriend's two children looked on.
Hall, 42, had returned home just before midnight when the children said four men surrounded the car and fired through the front windshield.
"They killed him in front of my kids," Hall’s girlfriend, Ashley Walden, told Herald news partner CBS4.
Police Chief Stephen Johnson said Hall was the intended target and police are looking to see if his shooting might have been some type of retaliation.
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Friends and family said Hall was trying to turn things around and was helping to care for Walden’s 14- and 12-year old children and the young child they had together.
Hall picked up Walden’s children from their grandmother’s home and when he got back to his house, at Northwest 175th Terrace and 17th Avenue, the suspects fired about four to six shots and left the scene in a truck, according to witnesses.
Cars lined the driveway in front of the house Monday morning as friends and family came by to offer support and comfort Walden and Hall’s family.
City Councilman Rodney Harris, who represents the area where the incident took place, offered his sympathies to the family and said he trusts police are working to find leads.
“I know our police department is doing everything in their power to find and hopefully prosecute the people who did this to the full extent of the law,” Harris said.
Johnson said detectives are investigating Hall’s criminal history to see if that might reveal any motives.
“He does have an extensive past but we don’t know if that’s related,” Johnson said.
Hall’s history includes arrests for marijuana and cocaine possession; he served about a year in prison in 1992 on burglary assault and robbery charges.
Friends and relatives wrote messages of support and offered prayers on Walden’s Facebook wall and a post from Saturday shows her and Hall attending the Dan Marino Foundation’s WalkAbout Autism and Expo at Sun Life Stadium.
“They’re going to pay for this,” Walden said. “I promise to God they’re going to pay for this. This is not OK.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-8477.
Miami Herald staff writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report.