Rasheed Cunningham Jr. would have been 9 years old Jan. 9.
Instead, he’s dead, and two family members are in the hospital after someone opened fire on the group as they walked in their Dania Beach neighborhood Wednesday night. They were headed home after a child’s birthday party.
Rasheed, known affectionately as “Lil Foot,” died on the street from his wounds. His older cousin, Brandon “Paco” Cunningham, and Teresa, the girlfriend of a cousin, were hospitalized after the shooting, according to Rasheed’s cousin, Corinthian Jones. She said the party they were leaving was for Teresa’s daughter. She didn’t know Teresa’s full name and police did not release it.
“I’m devastated and heartbroken,” Jones, 22, said Thursday. “No one should have to bury their child during the holidays.”
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Rasheed was the second family member Jones lost this week. On Christmas Day, Christopher Jordan, 25, was shot while walking home.
“It’s like I said my last words to y’all and the next thing I know 5min later y’all gone,” Jones wrote on Facebook. “Scared to say goodbye now cause you never know if that’s your last goodbye.”
Police have not arrested anyone for either shooting.
Elsewhere on Facebook, family and friends mourned the violent loss of a child.
Doris Thomas, a family friend, wrote about her memories of the little football player on Facebook, along with a picture of Rasheed dressed up in an orange button-down shirt, black vest and white gloves. She remembered changing his diaper the day he was born, sunbathing together, feeding him grits and bacon on Sunday mornings, seeing him catch his first football and watching him ride his grandpa’s bike.
“Your hugs and smiles they made me feel so special. So much to do so little time to do it,” she wrote. “My soul is so full. A part of my heart [is] broken and will never be repaired. Lord how I love you.”
Javon Davis, a close friend of Jordan’s, put it more simply: “ I don’t want to let you go but God needs you on his football team.”
Dania Beach Mayor Tamara James expressed shock and sympathy for the families of the victims in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
“At times like these, the community needs to stand together, pray together and support each other,” she wrote. “This end of the year, we grieve together.”