Friday, October 14, 2011
Out for Justice: Richard Felipe
He was only 23 years old. A young man with a lifetime's worth of hopes and dreams. But a summer night out with friends in 2008 ended in death for Richard Felipe. As Channel 7's Patrick Fraser tells us in tonight's Out for Justice, Miami-Dade detectives want to solve this brutal crime and are asking anyone with information to step forward.
WSVN -- Carmen Felipe is doing the unthinkable for a mother: Mourning the death of her son.
Carmen Felipe, Richard's Mom: "He loved me very much, and I loved him. He was just the light of my life."
Richard Felipe was Carmen's only child, a young man who loved sports and history.
Carmen Felipe: "He was always trying to learn more. He was always trying to read more. He used to tell me, 'Mom, read! Mom, you have to get smarter!'"
Detective Daniel Aiken, Miami-Dade Police: "He was a good kid. He had a whole future ahead of himself."
But on May 2, 2008, Richard's future was wiped out.
Carmen Felipe: "I said, 'Where are you going?' And he said, 'I'm just going for a ride.'"
That night, Richard and his best friend were in Opa-Locka talking to a couple of girls. A car with three or four people inside pulled up.
Detective Daniel Aiken: "A male exited the driver's side of the vehicle and fired numerous shots at both victims. Unfortunately, Richard Felipe was hit as he tried to run away, and he died on the scene from his injuries."
Patrick Fraser: "Detectives don't yet know why the gunman started firing. May be mistaken identity. Fortunately, Richard's friend survived his gunshots. Unfortunately, Carmen's son did not."
Carmen Felipe: "Somebody called me like after 5 o'clock in the morning and said, 'Your son is here by Dunad Avenue. Your son is dead.'"
Carmen rushed to the crime scene, just minutes away from their house.
After seeing her only son dead, she came home and tried to kill herself.
Carmen Felipe: "I found a bottle of pills that belonged to my late mother that were like really strong, and I took the whole bottle of pills."
A neighbor came to check on her and saved her life. Now, Carmen wants to live to see a killer caught.
Carmen Felipe: "I'm glad I'm alive. I have to find out who killed my son before I die, so I can look in his eyes and ask him why."
There were three or four people in the car the gunman was riding in. Detective Aiken says, a large number of suspects is a good thing for an investigator.
Detective Daniel Aiken: "And usually, any case when you have more than one subject, someone is bound to talk, so therefore, we know there is someone out there that heard information pertinent to this case."
Several people know something about the suspects, but none of them know how much they have made a mother suffer.
Each year, Carmen goes to the National Day of Remembrance Ceremony to be with other families whose loved ones were also murdered.
Carmen Felipe: "It's good to be able to talk to other people that have gone through the same thing you have, and to be together in this, you know."
She has also built a memorial where Richard was murdered.
And Richard's bedroom is just as he left it. The clock frozen at the exact time he was murdered, his car parked out front, as if he came home safely that night. And it will all stay this way, till the killers are caught.
Carmen Felipe: "I miss him so much. I miss his voice, I miss his footsteps coming in through the door."
Detective Daniel Aiken: "You can imagine your child. However, only having one child and to have his life snuffed out from you in a moment, in a second, we just really hope somebody steps forward."
Carmen Felipe: "I miss his eyes. I miss everything about him, hugging him. I miss him always. He's always in my heart and in my mind, and he will always be."
He always will be in her heart. And if you make a call, the suspects will not always be on the streets. If you have heard who pulled up and shot Richard and his friend on May 2, 2008, give Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers a call, and give a mother one small reason to smile.
Also, if you fear people have forgotten about a loved one that was murdered, give us a call and discover how many people are still out for justice.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: 305-471-TIPS
Out For Justice: 305-598-HELP (4357)
Miami-Dade or 954-796-HELP (4357) in Broward