Broward County

Video, witness, fingerprint led Miami Gardens police to teens accused of killing student

Roderick Sweeting, 17, a junior at American High School, was shot and killed Tuesday, April 5, 2016, outside an apartment complex in Miami Gardens, according to friends and family.
Roderick Sweeting, 17, a junior at American High School, was shot and killed Tuesday, April 5, 2016, outside an apartment complex in Miami Gardens, according to friends and family.

Video surveillance showed three teen gunmen ambush a 17-year-old Miami Gardens student with a barrage of more than two dozen bullets, according to court documents released Wednesday.

The video, plus a key eyewitness and a fingerprint, helped lead Miami Gardens police this week to arrest suspected gang members Quamaine McMillan, 15, Rachid Jacques, 16, and Devon Vickers, 15.

They are accused of murdering Roderick Sweeting, an American High student who was gunned down in Miami Gardens last week while walking home after being dropped off by a school bus. Sweeting’s death was but the latest in a string of of high-profile murders of young people in Miami-Dade.

Prosecutors in juvenile court said Wednesday that the state plans to indict the three as adults for first-degree murder and attempted murder. For now, they remain in juvenile detention.

Sweeting suffered 20 gunshot wounds, some of which were fired as he “was defenseless lying on the ground,” according to arrest warrants released Wednesday.

Investigators believe McMillan, Jacques and Vickers belong to a gang known as the Cloverleaf Boys, and targeted Sweeting as part of a long-running feud with another gang called 7 Block.

Sources have told the Miami Herald that a March shooting on the Palmetto Expressway, of a man who was shot in the head and is now blind, is also linked to the feud.

The surveillance video of the Sweeting shooting, taken from a nearby tattoo shop, shows one of the teens hiding between mailboxes just before emerging with the weapon and opening fire. The two others run up and begin shooting, according to arrest warrants released Wednesday.

Key for prosecutors: The video of the deadly shooting — which under state law cannot be released to the public — shows the gunmen hopping an aluminum fence. One fingerprint found on the fence matched Vickers, of Miami Gardens, according to an arrest warrant.

Sweeting was not the only victim. His brother was with him and was also targeted — and he said he had “no doubt” that McMillan, Jacques and Vickers were the attackers, the warrants said.

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