Thursday, June 11, 2009
Out for Justice: Michael Garland
Imagine someone in your family walks out the door to go jogging. A few minutes later you hear sirens, police called because your loved one has been gunned down in the back. A wonderful person, a great father. Dead. Eight months later police have no answers, but, frustrating, someone does and will not talk. In tonight's Out for Justice, Patrick Fraser says Miami-Dade Police are putting new focus on the case hoping that someone will finally talk.
WSVN -- Michael Garland was six foot six, a big man in so many ways to so many people.
Mike Garland: "Wonderful father, my best friend. Basically, we did everything together."
Eugenia Garland: "He was a great dad, a wonderful son, an awesome brother, a terrific uncle. Why does this have to happen?"
Michael was murdered, a cold blooded murder.
Detective Miguel Dominguez: "At approximately 8 p.m., Michael Garland was jogging along the school Rainbow Park Elementary when he was approached by either an individual or several individuals."
The killer shot Michael Garland in the back three times in this Miami Gardens neighborhood.
Richard Masten: "Was it a gang initiation? I don't know. Was it a just a random shooting? I don't know. Was it an attempted robbery? I don't know, but somebody out there knows."
Detectives are certain somebody knows because it's a busy neighborhood.
Detective Miguel Dominguez: "We believe there were some possible eyewitnesses in the area. Michael Garland was a big, imposing man. He would have drawn people's attention."
The day of Michael's death, police walked the neighborhood handing out flyers and asking questions. Crimstoppers has stepped forward and Michael's family is offering a $5,000 reward for information.
Detective Miguel Dominguez: "We just want to know what they know about this case, and if it leads to an arrest, they'll collect the $5,000."
But nine months after the murder, no one has said anything, frustrating police and infuriating Michael's family.
Mike Garland: "People know who did this, but no one wants to say anything, and our family is just, we're distraught because we never had anything like this happen in our family, never."
Patrick Fraser: "Imagine that, a family member is killed. A wonderful person shot in the back while jogging, then to hear people know things about the killing, but they don't want to talk about it. Yeah, infuriating is one word you would use."
Mike Garland: "And we're like, is someone going to come forward? Is someone going to say something? What if it was your brother, your dad, your mom? Would you want someone to just be silent? No, it doesn't work like that. It should not work like that."
But in Michael Garland's case, it's working like that. Someone knows something, maybe an adult walking on the street that day, maybe a kid playing in the park.
Detective Miguel Dominguez: "What we're hoping for is that, if you're a parent who lives in the neighborhood, and you're aware that your children and teenagers play in that particular park, maybe they could take some time and mention this case to their kids."
You can call Crimestoppers anonymously, make $5,000 for yourself and get a killer off the streets, so that your family is not the next one to suffer like the Garlands.
Mike Garland: "It's been very hard. I still find myself now actually dialing the number and going to the gym and looking over. I see him going in there and playing basketball together. It's nobody to play now. I don't want to play with anybody else."
One call, one anonymous call can nab this murderer and stop them before they destroy more families. If you have any information about the person who shot Michael Garland in the back in September, in Miami Gardens, give Miami-Dade Crimestoppers a call 305-471-TIPS.
Don't worry about irritating the killer, you will collect the reward and remain anonymous, and if you have lost a loved one and don't want people to forget, give us a call. So many people are still Out for Justice.