Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

'Why did you do this to him?' Grieving mom pleads for help in finding her son's killer

The mother of Michael Mathis, who was fatally shot on Saturday, pleads with the public to come forward with any information they may have on her son's death.
The mother of Michael Mathis, who was fatally shot on Saturday, pleads with the public to come forward with any information they may have on her son's death. efinny@miamiherald.com

A family gathered outside an African and Caribbean Market and Barber Shop in the 3600 block of Northwest 191st Street on Friday morning — the same spot where six days earlier Michael Mathis had been shot and killed.

Charmaine Roundtree stood in the parking lot, pleading with the public to come forward with any information on the death of her 21-year-old son — who would have celebrated a birthday in a couple weeks.

Mathis grew up playing football in the community. Roundtree described him as "their comedian" — always cracking jokes, making them laugh, and dancing.

"We don't have anybody to make us laugh now," Roundtree said.

He was a role model to his younger siblings — he had brothers and a sister, who are devastated by the loss.

"His brother won't talk. His sister won't eat. I ask her why she won't relax and get some rest and she says she's waiting for Mike to come home," Roundtree said, as she choked up. "Why did you do this to him?" she exclaimed.

Mathis' mother got a call on Saturday morning that her son had been shot. She said that the police had gotten her number from her son, who was calling for her.

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Michael Mathis Courtesy of Charmaine Roundtree

"How bad could it have been that they needed to take his life," Roundtree cried. "They could have come talked to me, why did they have to shoot and kill him?"

Mathis was standing in the parking lot, arguing with someone on the phone when he was shot down Saturday morning. Roundtree and the police both don't know whom he was arguing with. His mother added that she didn't know whether he had been with friends or by himself that day.

The family mourns their "Mike Mike." He was well-known in the neighborhood and frequented the block where he was shot — it was part of his daily routine.

"He's always standing at the store [across the street] or sitting in the neighborhood with his friends," Roundtree explained. "I know there were people around here, there's always people up here. Someone knows something."

The family had planned to attend the 2018 People Matter Fest later on that day in Gwen Cherry Park. The event started at noon — more than halfway into a 24-hour cease-fire that called for the county to put their guns down.

The cease-fire started at 7 p.m. the night before. Mathis was killed at 10:25 a.m. Saturday.

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The 2018 People Matter Fest called for a 24 hour cease-fire in the community.

"We stand with the Mathis family," said Miami Gardens Chief of Police Delma Noel-Pratt. "These killings don't make any sense. When are we going to value people's lives?"

Chief Noel-Pratt called for people to put their guns down and to stop the senseless killings. She said that the department was following up on every tip.

She added that officers are currently looking for a 2007-2011 gold color Toyota Camry that was seen leaving the scene. The car also has dark tinted windows and is missing a hubcap on the front right tire.

This comes at a time when the community of Miami Gardens has seen a rash of shootings in the past week, including a man shot the day after Mathis on Father's Day and four shot on Thursday, reports say.

There is no indication that these are all connected at this time," Chief Noel-Pratt said of all the shootings.

Officers currently have no motive.

"We need closure; we need justice for Mike Mike," Roundtree said. "Somebody knows something."

"It's mother's intuition," she said. "I think it was someone who could have called and sorted it all out."

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Charmaine Roundtree Elizabeth Finny

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