Tawana Akins has to bury another nephew. Her fourth.
After losing 6-year-old King Carter last year when a stray bullet struck him in the chest as he went to buy candy, her family is mourning 24-year-old Ralph Carr, who was shot dead outside his Liberty City apartment as he walked to his car to pick up his girlfriend from work the morning of Sept. 15.
“It’s a vicious cycle,” Akins, a Miami-Dade schoolteacher, said Thursday evening. “I’m tired of my family members not being able to grow up and have a fruitful life.”
Akins, who has been active in curbing gun violence in the community, said she left Ryder Trauma Center last week and immediately started knocking on doors in Carr’s neighborhood, imploring people for any information. There were a few leads, which she gave to the homicide detective from Miami police investigating the case.
But she’s unsatisfied, believing the killer or killers are hiding behind the protection of the “code of the streets” that stops people from detailing what happened at that apartment complex on Northwest 70th Street near Eighth Avenue.
“No one wants to talk,” she said.
The greater Miami community was shaken in February 2016 when King Carter, a first grader, was killed in the crossfire when he was shot in the chest on a Saturday afternoon while playing outside with friends at his Northwest Miami-Dade apartment complex.
Now, Akins is reliving the trauma for another loved one. She has lost five relatives to gun violence, four nephews and one cousin.
“If you know something, say something,” she said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.