The memorials were hastily assembled on Monday with sad, handwritten messages and stuffed animals — in remembrance of two teenage brothers who died from gunfire the night before in a murder-suicide over what may have been the most trivial of sibling arguments.
The two brothers fought over sharing clothes on Sunday night — with one of them apparently pulling the trigger on himself.
The shooting occurred around 11 p.m. Sunday at the New Haven Gardens apartment complex in the 7100 block of Northeast Second Avenue, between the Little Haiti and Little River neighborhoods.
Miami police were still investigating Monday, but this is what happened, according to family members, neighbors, and authorities:
The two boys, Stanley Blanc, 16, and Stephen Odeus, 14, apparently were arguing in their apartment about clothing when the fight escalated, according to family members.
Relatives told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that they broke up the scuffle, but it flared up again and ended up outside. That’s where Stephen pulled a gun and shot his older brother.
The teenager then walked to another part of the complex and shot himself in the head.
A shocked Mark Blanc, 18, saw the entire altercation between his younger siblings. He said he was stunned at how quickly the situation escalated.
“Right before my eyes my brother just shot my other brother,” Blanc said to CBS4.
Stunned neighbors said the boys were respectful and played in the neighborhood like other children.
“From what I could see from the outside, nothing seemed wrong,” said Pamela Williams, a neighbor.
Dozens of neighbors and friends, mostly children, gathered at an impromptu candlelight vigil Monday night, mainly standing silently and occasionally singing gospel songs.
Tyquane Williams, 20, a friend of the teens, was also there Sunday night when the shooting occurred. He said they were preparing to go party on South Beach Sunday, but the brothers went back into the apartment, their fight began and shortly after they were gone.
"I woke up crying this morning, I thought it was a dream," Williams said.
Mark Blanc said he doesn’t know where his brother got the gun.
Margaret Jones, visiting her daughter Elizabeth, said she has complained about hearing gunfire in the area in the past.
“I guess that’s why they call it the graveyard. A lot of shooting goes on in this area,” said Jones.
Police have not released any information other than confirming that the teens were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where they died from their injuries.