Crime

She got out of her car to check the damage. Then came the bullets

Family of woman shot and killed in Miami asks for help in solving the murder

The family of Briana Paschal, a Miami woman who was shot and killed after she was hit from behind and got out of her car to check on the damage, asked for help on July 19, 2019 in solving the murder.
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The family of Briana Paschal, a Miami woman who was shot and killed after she was hit from behind and got out of her car to check on the damage, asked for help on July 19, 2019 in solving the murder.

Briana Paschal was on her way to her job at a Northwest Miami-Dade art gallery on an early February morning when someone hit her car from behind.

The 27-year-old art merchandiser who was starting her own restaurant she called “Everyday Something New” got out to check on the damage.

That would be the last thing Paschal would do.

Police say the person who rammed into her car got out and began shooting. Paschal died after being hit several times, according to police.

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Handout photo of Briana Paschal

On Friday, Paschal’s grieving family gathered at the Miami Police Department to beg the community for help in finding the young woman’s killer.

“We know somebody knows something,” said Paschal’s cousin William Clark. “We know there are rules on the street about snitching and coming forth with information, however our thinking is if you know something and are not saying anything about it you are complacent — you are just as guilty as the person who pulled the trigger.”

Police said Paschal was in the intersection of Northwest Third Avenue and 14th Terrace Feb. 18 when her car was hit. Ridge Graham, the lead detective, said police found the two cars, Pashcal’s body, but no shooter.

While police can’t say for certain that the crash was intentional to get Paschal out of the car, Graham said “all arrows point to that.” He also said there was no indication that she knew the shooter.

While they are investigating some leads, police say they need the community’s help.

“Most homicides are not solved solely on the investigator,” Graham said. “We always encourage the community to come forward. It is important for us and the family to just try to get as much information as we can to keep the investigation going in the direction we want.”

Relatives fought back tears, saying Paschal’s death has left a void in the family.

“Bri was that special person. She was that spark that energized the entire family, just like a battery to a car,” Clark said. “Without her the whole family is numb.”

Lynda Roberts described her niece as an entrepreneur, humanitarian and artist who used her creativity in everything she did. She planned on turning her restaurant into a food truck serving fried ice cream and special punch from plastic pouches.

“If she could’ve changed the world, she would,” Roberts said. “She would never done anything to hurt anyone.”

She said Paschal, who graduated from Northwestern Senior High and Florida A&M University, recently shared her dreams at a celebration for her sister’s birthday.

“She was so excited about helping everybody,” she said. “Briana was a person who loved everyone. It didn’t matter homeless, rich, poor, anything.”

Clark said the family just wants justice.

“She is sadly missed,” said, “and closure is what we are looking forward.”

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