Child killed in drive-by shooting in Southwest Miami-Dade

A 7-year-old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting Sunday while visiting family members in the Richmond Heights community in South Miami-Dade for the holidays, police said.

The child, identified by police Monday morning as Amiere Castro, was visiting his cousins in a home on Jackson Street and Southwest 152nd Street when four men pulled up in a vehicle and shot at the house around 3:30 p.m., police said.

The shooting involved a high-powered rifle, acting Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said.

No one was arrested, but one man who became emotional at the scene was put in handcuffs “for his own safety” so he would calm down, Perez said.

Police were searching for a white four-door Dodge Ram with tinted windows believed to be involved.

Relatives of the victim said the boy, named Amir, lived in Homestead and was visiting their house.

The boy’s cousins said they were sitting on the front porch when someone drove up in a vehicle and started shooting. Some of the children took cover while others tried to run into the backyard.

The kids, who did not want to be named, said Amir was inside the house, coming out of the bathroom when the shooting started.

They ran to their cousin, who was shot in the head, and found him with his eyes still open. They called the police.

His family described him as a playful boy who loved football.

A number of community leaders spoke at a news conference at the scene.

“It's our worst nightmare realized,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss said.

“There's no prayer you can pray that takes care of these kind of problems. We have to get in the trenches,” local bishop Carlos Malone said.

Sunday evening, police had taped off much of the area as they continued to investigate. And Perez pleaded with the community to call police if they have any information

“What we need is for the community to get involved,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

Related stories from Miami Herald