Kenson Pierre was fast asleep early Wednesday in the North Miami home he shares with his mom when his ringing cellphone woke him. A friend and videographer was outside, and he wanted to discuss the details of a clip they had created of Pierre rapping.
But when Pierre stepped out into the leafy oak tree-lined street to meet Justin McAdam, he was met by gunfire. Someone approached in the dark, and Pierre, 22, and McAdam, 31, were killed instantly.
Two days later, family and friends still are mystified about what exactly happened. And as of Thursday afternoon, police still had no one in custody.
“We have absolutely no persons of interests,” said North Miami Maj. Neal Cuevas. “We don’t know the motive behind these killings.”
It doesn’t appear to be random and investigators don’t know if the assailant shot from a car or walked up to McAdam and Pierre.
On Thursday morning, several cars were parked outside of Pierre’s home at 1130 NE 133rd St. Emotional relatives said the incident was “too fresh” to discuss.
His girlfriend, Shanice Brown, 21, said she learned about Pierre’s death from text messages, and messages to her Facebook Inbox and Instagram account.
“It was a rude awakening,” said a grieving Brown, who arrived in Miami from New York late Thursday where she’s attending Borough of Manhattan Community College, majoring in forensic science.
“I think he was in the wrong place. He didn't have any problems with anyone. He was loved by everyone, he was always there for everybody," she said. “It makes no sense at all.”
Brown said she last spoke to Pierre a few hours before he was killed, around 11 p.m. that night. The couple knew each for four years.
“I am just going crazy right now,” she said, adding that Pierre’s death has inspired her to continue with her studies to become a New York police officer.
Other friends poured out their grief on social media. Pierre, an aspiring rapper who went by “Short Kidd,” was talented, kind and didn’t deserve to be gunned down, they said.
Multiple posts angrily referenced a person responsible. One friend said he hopes they “burn in hell.”
McAdam, who friends called “JBlanco,” served in the military before taking over his father’s photography business and expanding to produce music videos.
Friend Jeremy Gonzales said he met McAdam in early 2006 on a U.S. Navy submarine in San Diego and remembered him as a well-liked, humble guy.
McAdam would be the first person to volunteer for tasks, said Gonzales, who works as a Navy recruiter in Texas.
“He was my mentor when I first got there,” he said. “We ended up becoming really good friends.”
As the two traveled around the world in the Navy, they began sharing their favorite music. McAdam always would play rap songs he helped produce. Gonzales would play country music.
He remembers McAdam handing out copies of mixtapes at every port the submarine stopped at.
“I don’t think I know anyone who has anything negative to say about him,” he said.
Some of Pierre’s friends shared a Facebook post he wrote in April referencing “fake supporters.”
“Don't Start Listening To Me When Im Dead,” it reads. “Support Me When Im Here.”
Miami Herald staff writers Charles Rabin and Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.