Michael Antwan Jackson was gunned down early Friday morning in front of a Little Haiti apartment while talking on his cellphone and finishing off a plate of food, family members said.
Jackson’s relatives greeted friends Friday with an open door at the tiny beige apartment complex where the family has lived for 30 years. They believe the father of nine was targeted. But they were steadfast in denying his death had anything to do with drugs.
“He’s a ladies’ man. Ain’t no drugs,” said Jackson’s only sister, Tiffany Roper.
Jackson, 36, who fathered nine children with four women, according to his father, was drinking beer down the street at a local grocery before he returned home just past midnight Friday. He was shot several times at about 12:25 a.m., and police found more than a dozen casings nearby.
From where the casings were found, it appears Jackson was first shot in front of the two-story apartment at 6863 NW Second Ave., then ran or stumbled to the side of the building along Northwest 68th Terrace, where his body was found.
His father Grant Jackson, 70, was upstairs in the two-bedroom apartment watching television when he heard gunshots just below his window. He looked out and said he saw a man wearing dark clothing running east on 68th Terrace. Then he raced downstairs and found his son.
“It was too late by then,” said Grant Jackson. “They said there were 16 shots.”
At least publicly, police said they have little to go on. They have no suspect, no weapon, and no motive. A two-paragraph statement released to the media said little more than the dead man’s name and where the murder occurred.
Family members said Jackson graduated and played basketball at Miami Edison Senior High School, then made his way to a state college in California, where he tried to continue playing the sport. He was home within a year, working various jobs, Grant Jackson said. When he was shot, he was working for a moving company in the north end of the county.
Grant Jackson said his son had an outgoing personality and knew everyone in the neighborhood. The younger Jackson’s hobbies were few, his father said. He preferred hanging around the neighborhood with friends to frequenting nightclubs.
“He was a talker,” said Grant Jackson.
Friday, Michael Antwan Jackson’s twin 11-month daughters Jhimiya and Samiya frolicked around an old battered couch in the living room of the small apartment, as an Adam Sandler movie played on the television. The air conditioning to the second-floor unit was out, and the family was trying to keep cool with the open door and a small fan.
Friends were streaming in, trying to find out how and why Jackson was murdered.
“He was a womanizer,” said Jackson’s father. “He always hung around the ‘hood. He didn’t go to clubs. Maybe it was jealousy over some girl.”