South Miami

Father of two gunned down, two others injured; shooter still on the loose

One person was killed and two were injured in a shooting in South Miami.
One person was killed and two were injured in a shooting in South Miami.

Larry Edwards was sitting on a stoop in front of a South Miami apartment with two friends when someone rounded the corner with a high-powered rifle and unloaded on the trio.

Edwards was killed. Two others were wounded. The shooter is still on the loose.

“Fire rescue responded and pronounced one victim deceased on the scene and transported two others to a local hospital,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman and Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. “One of the victims is listed in stable condition while the other is critical.”

The shooting at 6706 SW 59th Pl., a group of apartments and townhouses in the northeast quadrant of South Miami, took place at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. By later in the morning police hadn’t released any of the victims’ names.

Edwards, 32, and the father of two girls, was identified by family members to Miami Herald news partners CBS4.

They said Edwards had just finished work and was visiting friends on his way home.

“He was basically a family man. He didn’t deserve this. I don’t understand who would do this or why,” Edward’s aunt Vondolyn Harold-Vega told the news station.

Miami-Dade police, who are investigating the homicide, released a brief statement saying an unknown subject “approached on foot and fired into a group of people.” The haven’t named a suspect or a motive.

Wednesday’s shooting comes on the heels of May commission meeting in which city leaders touted the city’s crime rates as the lowest in almost three decades.

Nonetheless, the city has had some spectacular murders in recent years — including the shooting death of a commissioner and another murder that blasted through social media and quickly made international headlines.

In 2009, former South Miami student Jason Beckman methodically assembled a 12-gauge shotgun, walked into a bathroom and shot and killed his father, a South Miami commissioner at the time named Jay Beckman. Jason Beckman, who openly loathed his father, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

And in August 2013, Derek Medina became known as “The Facebook Killer,” after shooting and killing his wife Jennifer Alfonso in their South Miami home, then posting a chilling video of her bloody and contorted body on Facebook. A jury later convicted him of the murder and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Those shootings, though high-profile, were domestic crimes of passion in which the killers were quickly identified and captured. That’s not the case with the man who ended Edward’s life on Wednesday and is still on the loose.

In all of South Miami, a small town set between Coral Gables and Kendall with a population of about 12,000, only four people were shot in 2015 in three separate incidents. No one died.

“It’s really calmed down a lot,” said South Miami Police Chief Rene Landa. “The crime rate is the lowest in South Miami in years.”