A man who police say was likely an unfortunate bystander was shot and killed Friday, and another man was wounded, during a drive-by shooting in a residential North Miami Beach neighborhood.
Police said the man killed was Kyron Richmond Elderly, 49, who some witnesses said appeared to be mowing his lawn across the street from a group of people who may have been targeted.
“It appears he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” North Miami Beach Police Maj. Kathy Katerman said.
The shooting, which occurred around 2 p.m., flooded the neighborhood with at least 31 shell casings and left at least five cars damaged with bullet holes. The man who survived was found inside a white Mercedes-Benz, though police believe he was helped into the car after he was shot.
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Both men were airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. The police activity forced brief lockdowns at North Miami Middle and North Miami Senior High schools, according to the Miami-Dade County school district.
According to police, a group of three or four men were driving north on North Miami Avenue just south of Northeast 173rd Street in a silver or gray Chevrolet Cruze when one of the men jumped out of the car and began firing at a group of people hanging around in front of a home at 16 NE 173rd St.
As the car turned east on 173rd, other men in the car began firing weapons also, police said. One man in front of the home was struck in the buttocks.
Police said as the man firing his weapon on the street raced back toward the car, he spotted Elderly across the street and fired. It’s possible that Elderly was shot because he saw what unfolded. He was hit in the midsection or upper body. The car then raced away headed east on 173rd Street.
Late Friday afternoon, Katerman said police were waiting on a host of search warrants to look inside cars and some homes. She said police had conducted more than a dozen interviews and were looking into the possibility of the shootings being gang-related.
“Multiple cars were shot in front of at least three homes,” she said. “There was obviously some kind of beef between the parties.”
A man who lives nearby but didn’t want his name mentioned for fear of retaliation said a group of young men often hang out in front of the home at 16 NE 173rd St. playing dice games or other forms of gambling.
Another witness said it appeared that the shooter knew the victim, “because he went right up to him.”