Vigil held for mother, toddler shot and killed
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A community gathered together to hold a candlelight memorial for a mother and her son after they were gunned down in their own beds.
Community members came together Tuesday night to mourn the loss of Ciara Lee and her 2-year-old son, Devon Franklin. "And it continues to happen, but are we getting it? Our children continue to die," said the victim's father, Derek Thompson. "People are just dying senseless deaths. Innocent people are just dying around here in this community."
Police said this is just two more causalities in a community torn apart by gang and turf wars. Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito said, "I responded to the scene and was devastated."
The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m., near 73rd Street and Northwest Sixth Avenue. City of Miami Police investigators said the shooter got out of a car and opened fire on the home, shooting more than 200 rounds from an AK-47. Several shots struck and killed 22-year-old Ciara Lee and her 2-year-old son as they slept.
Police do not believe the woman and her son were the intended targets. They believe it was a drug related incident and an unnamed relative was the target. "It's a drug-related homicide that we're looking at," said Miami Police Major Jorge Martin.
A third man, identified as an uncle to Franklin, was also shot and transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in good condition. Three others inside the home, including the boy's father, escaped unharmed.
Lee was just four days shy of her one-year anniversary at her job as a corrections officer. Warden David Harris, the victim's boss, spoke at a press conference. "We're a family," he said. "It's like losing a family member for us."
About 30 people gathered at the memorial and expressed their hurt. "Whoever did it, I hope you can just wake up and see what you've done. You took the life of a child," Jennifer Laguerre said.
"I just want the police to do their job and catch them and punish them," said the victim's mother, Teresa Pritchard.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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