A 14-year-old boy was shot and killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in Miami on Friday night, police said.
The teen, Gabriel Figueroa, was standing in the street with friends in front of a residence at 1245 Northwest 52nd Street at 7:46 p.m. when a car drove by them. Moments later, someone inside the vehicle fired several shots, striking Gabriel in the chest, said Miami Police Det. Rene Pimentel.
Gabriel ran but collapsed as Miami Fire Rescue arrived at the scene. The teen was rushed to Jackson Memorial Ryder Trauma Center, where he later died from the gunshot wounds, said Pimentel in a statement released by police at 1:35 a.m. Saturday.
“At this time, investigators are working the scene to find a motive and the person(s) responsible for this shooting,” Pimentel said.
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Police had earlier reported that the teen was not from the area but visiting the neighborhood.
Police are urging anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Miami Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 305-603-6350. Those with information who wish to remain anonymous can contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477) or visit www.crimestoppersmiami.com and select “Give a Tip” or send a text message to 274637. Enter CSMD followed by the tip information and press send.
The shooting of Gabriel is the second fatal drive-by shooting this week.
It is part of a troubling trend this year of drive-by shootings in Miami and Miami-Dade County’s north end. Though major crimes are down overall in most cities around the nation, including Miami, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest there has been an uptick in in drive-by shootings claiming multiple victims.
And most seem to have a common theme: A shooter pulls up to a crowded scene in a car, steps out and unleashes a torrent of bullets from a semi-automatic weapon into a group of people, often with little or no regard for the innocents surrounding the intended target.
The majority of the shootings remain unsolved.
Asked on Friday whether there has been a significant increase in mass drive-by shootings, Pimentel said it was a statistical question he couldn’t answer without investigating, but added “it seems that way, for sure.”
In the past two weeks, 18 people have been shot in drive-by shootings. Two have died. A teen with a bullet wound to his head survived.