Three teens were shot a block from Carol City Middle School on Friday afternoon, causing a lockdown of nearby schools and a mess during the rush hour, as police blocked off roads investigating the crime scene while searching for the gunman.
Two of the teens, 15 year olds, were transported to the hospital by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the other, a 14-year-old, was taken there by car. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening, said Miami Gardens Spokeswoman Petula Burks.
Shots were fired one block east of Carol City Middle, which was temporarily on lockdown, along with Barbara Hawkins Elementary School and Carol City Senior High School.
Police are looking for the white SUV suspected in the shooting, which happened on the sidewalk in front of a small apartment complex.
A woman who lives on Northwest 35th Avenue said she and the children in her house hit the floor when the shooting started. At around 2:43 p.m., she counted about five shots, she said.
When she stepped outside to see what happened, she said she saw a kid leaving 35th Avenue hop into a small white SUV with tinted windows. The driver took off west on 188th Street, she said, and schools police drove up moments later.
The Miami Gardens shooting was the third shooting near a Miami-Dade school in one day.
Hours after the teens were hospitalized, two shots were fired into Toussaint L'Overture Elementary School in Little Haiti, according to Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
“Students and staff at Toussaint L'Overture Elementary are safe after bullets strike school,” he tweeted.
On Friday morning, a group of seniors on their way to an adult living facility and children on their way to school received a jolt when BBs from a pellet gun shattered windows in two vehicles near Brownsville Middle School, police said.
No one was injured.
The incident happened at about 8:30 a.m. on Northwest 24th Avenue between 46th and 50th streets. Police said the adults and the kids were riding in separate private vans when the pellets shattered some windows.
Police working the scene Friday morning said they aren’t sure where the blasts came from and they don’t know who fired the weapon.
One of the vans was carrying a group of older folks to a Jewish community center. The other carried 14 children on their way to Brownsville Middle School. Although the van was a private car hired by parents, all of the children on board were public school students at Brownsville Middle, Comstock Elementary, Maya Angelou Elementary and Kelsey L. Pharr Elementary, Carvalho said.
“I am devastated by the potential horrific tragedy that was averted today,” Carvalho said, noting that four bullet holes were visible in two of the van windows. He said Brownsville students told him they avoid the area where the shooting took place because shootings like this one are a common occurrence.
“It’s the new normal that we’re dealing with in this community,” said T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami. “We cannot allow these incidents to continue to happen.”