As Jada Page, 8, lay gravely wounded from a gunshot, her mother prayed for a miracle.
Jada’s age and innocence, the senselessness of another drive-by shooting and the words of a distraught mother inspired the hashtags #prayforjada and #justice4jada now spreading across social media platforms.
Just nine days ago, Jada started fourth grade at Sea Castle Elementary School in Miramar wearing a smile, a polo shirt and carrying a pink and black backpack.
Now, family members say she is brain dead, struck by a bullet meant for someone else.
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On Tuesday morning, mother Dominique Brown offered a Facebook post that spoke to heartbreak, but also resilience.
“Somebody told me last night that it’s things like this that make them not believe in God. But all I got left is my faith,” she wrote on her personal page, shared nearly 2,400 times. “The doctors have given up on my baby. Lord, I need the prayer warriors more than ever now. I’m trusting and believing that somehow some way she’s going to come out of this.”
Brown left her daughter’s side briefly to make a public plea for help in finding the shooters but was overcome by emotion.
“They know who did this to my baby,” she told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 before returning to the hospital.
Just before 5 p.m. Sunday, Jada and her father, James Page, 32, were in his front yard — on their way to the movies — when they were wounded in a drive-by shooting. Jada, near the front porch, was struck in the back of the head and her father shot in the chest. Page, who is expected to survive, was the target, police said.
On Tuesday, Brown posted a photo from the hospital of Jada’s tiny hand on Instagram, drawing more than 2,900 likes and 1,100 comments. “I was hoping I woke up and this was all a dream...I didn’t know what else to do...They say my baby is brain dead and they are taking her off the machines in the morning...The doctors say there are miracles and there is reality,” she wrote. “Please find breath in my baby’s body. I need a miracle by tomorrow morning.”
Brown’s sister, Khadija Brown, said their daughters were inseparable.
“....never saw one without the other since birth. They wake up together, go to school together, come home together,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Lord you have the final say so. Miracles happen every day. Put life back into my niece.”
On Aug. 22, the first day of school, Dominique Brown posted a picture of Jada. The caption was filled with excitement. “I wonder how her 1st day at a new school is going? I miss her! #4thgrader #my biggirl.”
A week later, a neighbor and family friend stood on the sidewalk just steps away from where the shooting happened, at Northwest 25th Avenue and 102nd Street. She had gone to the hospital earlier that day to provide emotional support for the family and still had on her visitor’s badge from Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“This baby, Jada. A baby. I want justice for this child. This is an innocent child,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “We really need to let our kids live.”
She remembers looking at recent pictures of Jada playing tennis and a photo of the little girl decked out in all-pink boxing gear.
“The parents are hurting, the children are hurting — we just need to stop hurting our youth,” she said. “They don’t have anything to live for if they just can’t play and be human beings.”
Police are offering a reward of $24,000 to anyone with information that could lead to an arrest.
Anyone with information can call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers 305-471-TIPS (8477).
WLRN reporter Nadege Green contributed to this report.