Miami-Dade County

Police: 3 Liberty City girls were shot by a female friend seeking revenge

Three Liberty City girls wounded in a drive-by shooting were attacked by a 17-year-old friend who got into an argument with one of them, left, and returned for vengeance, Miami Police said.

A day later, police hadn’t caught the suspect, had not released her name, and said they weren’t sure of the make or model of the vehicle she was in.

But they’re certain a second person, a male, was driving the car she was in. And they’re fairly sure they’ve identified the shooter and figured out her motive - revenge.

“It’s a fight between two older girls, one left and came back. We think we know her. We’re not sure if it was over a boy,” Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said Wednesday.

Orosa’s suspicions mirrored those of Sophia Taylor, the mother of Jacqueline Powell, 18, the oldest girl who was shot. Outside Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center Tuesday night, Taylor said her daughter told her she was hit after getting into an argument with a friend, who returned later and opened fire.

According to police and eyewitness accounts, Powell, Deshareah Wright, 10, and another 15-year-old girl were hanging out near the back patio of a home in the 1200 block of Northwest 65th Street late Tuesday afternoon, when a car approached from the west, and gunfire erupted.

Residents scrambled, ducked and ran for cover in the chaos. The three girls were hit. Deshareah suffered the most severe injury with a gunshot wound to her arm. Bullets grazed the other two, police said.

Wright appeared before the media Wednesday at Jackson, rolled out in a wheelchair, holding a pair of stuffed animals, her hair all done up, and wearing a pink bathrobe.

“I thought the gunshots were firecrackers,” she told Miami Herald news partner WFOR Channel 4. “When I looked at my arm, it was bleeding. It hurts a little, but it’s OK.”

After realizing she was struck, Deshareah said a friend held her up. Then she raced through a grass field separating a row of townhouses at Liberty Square into the arms of her mom.

Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said the shooting unfolded so quickly that no one in the dozens of townhouses that surrounded the scene could identify the car or a suspect.

“The 10-year-old runs and collapses in her mother's arms,” Reyes said. “Someone from this area must have seen what happened. We need that input.”

Nowell Hayes, 24, had just returned home from working at Goodwill when the gunfire rang out. He said it’s tough to identify anything when everyone is seeking cover.

“I ran,” he said.

Tuesday’s chaotic events played out only a few blocks from one of the most infamous shootings in a city of full of them the past few years - the home of 9-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins, gunned down in 2009 as she played on her front porch with her sister, brother and friend.

The shooting shook the community and produced vigils and the naming of a park in Sherdavia’s honor nearby. Tuesday’s shooting also happened just as First Lady Michelle Obama was finishing a speech on kids’ health at Gwen Cherry Park, about a mile away.

The two older girls have been released from the hospital. Deshareah is expected to spend another night in the hospital.

Seated in her wheelchair at Jackson Wednesday, Deshareah said she wasn’t looking to forward to going home.

“I don’t want to go back there,” she said.

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