A 3-year-old child was shot in the ankle Sunday afternoon in Liberty City, the victim of a neighborhood dispute that erupted into gunfire and had Miami police ducking for cover.
Miami police said they responded to shots being fired around 3p.m., found the injured child, who got caught in the crossfire, and surrounded the building at Northwest 12th Avenue and 62nd Street, even as gun shots continued to ring out.
The child was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Miami Police Detective Frederica Burden said police believe it was an altercation between neighbors that escalated to a gunfight.
By 4:30 p.m., the gunfire had stopped and police were evacuating the building. But Burden said police don’t know yet if they’ve recovered all the weapons. And the shooters are not in custody yet.
“Police arrived and they were still listening to gunfire going on,” she said.
Miami Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera said the shooting went on for more than five minutes when officers arrived, and that they had to escort paramedics into the building to get the child.
The scene was still active early Sunday night with SWAT team members and hostage negotiators going door-to-door trying to find the shooters. They were checking three apartments in the building at 1251 NW 62nd Street.
Police had one man detained who told them he was in the apartment where the child had been shot and left his weapon behind. Police believe the argument was over “some type of narcotics issue.”
That section of Liberty City, in and around the Liberty Square housing project, has been hit particularly hard this year with violence. Through July, the Miami Herald documented 43 shootings just in that neighborhood.
Though the shootings have seemed to quiet down since mid year, there has been another rash the past few weeks in the city's north end, with two youngsters shot in the Little Haiti neighborhood not far from Liberty Square on Veteran’s Day.