Friday, August 5, 2011
Out for Justice: Octavio Avila
He stepped outside to chat and minutes later a father of four was dead. Now, almost a year has gone by and frustrated detectives say the case has gone cold. 7's Patrick Fraser has more in tonight's Out For Justice.
WSVN -- Octavio Avila Junior grew up in a tough neighborhood and shared his experiences with his girls.
Latavia Martin, Daughter: "He taught us a lot, a lot of life lessons."
Teaching lessons to his girls so they would avoid the things he had seen.
Hydiea Martin, Daughter: "He was protective, like he think he went overboard, but yes, we were his babies. Like oh my God, anything happen he would go crazy for us."
Today they are going crazy.
Jasmine Martin, Daughter : "I miss his smile 'cause it always made me happy to see him smile."
A year ago, Octavio was in front of his mother's home in Miami Gardens talking to some people when she heard a crash.
Maria Avila, Octavio's Mother: "I watch out the window I see the black car, maybe Junior coming in."
She went to the door but her son Octavio had jumped in his mother's car and drove off being chased in another car by the men Octavio had been talking to. One of them was firing a 38 caliber handgun.
Detective Joseph Zellner, Miami Gardens Police: "There was multiple rounds fired into Octavio's car. Octavio was fired at from behind and in front of his vehicle, so during the chases there was also possibly shots fired."
A few blocks away the car cut Octavio off and the gunman jumped out.
Detective Joseph Zellner: "He fired multiple rounds into Ocatavio's vehicle- one into the front end and one into the windshield. The windshield round is the one that actually struck Octavio and killed him."
A couple of hours later Maria was watching 7 News and saw the story. She had no idea the man shot and killed in Miami Gardens was her son, then a detective knocked on her door.
Maria Avila: "Maybe it's him, maybe no, you understand? It's my car, pero, maybe no Junior. The detective says, 'Yes, it's Junior."
Why were the two men chasing Octavio Jr., detectives don't know. Who were the gunman that stood in the neighborhood probably seen by several people. No one will say, so another innocent man dies, two more killers drive away and the witnesses look the other way.
Detective Joseph Zellner: "It's just accepted now in the community. As long as it's not happening to them there's no one who wants to reach out and help, and it's a shame because you never know when something's going to happen to you or when something could happen and it's becoming like a norm here, not only in South Florida, but throughout the country. It's just accepted way of life now, and it's a shame because it does hinder our investigations."
The witnesses are silent as a family sobs.
Maria Avila: "My son, somebody kill him for something. I no care for what, maybe somebody see who?"
Today, Octavio's ashes sit in an urn, a candle burning, a reminder of yet another person murdered.
Hydiea Martin: "I can't deal with it. I try but it's hard."
Miami Gardens detectives are convinced people know who killed Octavio. A family just wants one of those people to pretend like it was their father killed and make an anonymous phone call.
Jasmine Martin: "Just give us some information. I don't care if it's like a little bit, just give us something."
Something to give this family a little peace and give some dangerous people a nice comfortable room behind steel bars.
And if you are missing a loved one, if you think people have forgotten about them give us a call and see there are many people still out for justice.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Broward Crime Stoppers: 954-493-TIPS
Out For Justice: 305-598-HELP (4357) Miami-Dade or 954-796-HELP (4357) in Broward