Drive-by shooting teen victim recuperates from injuries
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The condition of a teenage male injured during a drive-by shooting Monday morning appears to be improving, officials said.
The shooting happened just before 7 a.m. Monday near Northwest Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street. Miami Police arrived on scene to find more than 22 shell casings in the street. Police said the 17-year-old male was walking when he heard shots fired. He tried to run but was struck by the gunfire.
Rescue crews transported the teen to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The victim is out of surgery and breathing on his own. He is listed in critical but stable condition.
The victim's mother said her son was walking to school when the incident took place. "I don't know what happened, but whoever hit him, sooner or later they're going to pay," she said while holding a pink rosary around her neck.
Investigators said at least two guns, an AK-47 and a 9mm, were used in this shooting. Some witnesses heard the semi-automatic gunfire. "I'm terrified, because all the years I've been here we've never had this happen," said an unidentified female resident.
Detectives said bullets also struck a home, but no one in the home was injured. "Like a small war," said a male neighbor. "They fired, like, 12 casings right there," he said as he pointed to a nearby sidewalk.
The teen's mother insisted he never got into trouble. "He was fine, from school to the house, from school to the house," she said as she described her son's daily route.
The victim's cousin expressed optimism about the situation. "It's heartbreaking, but we'll get through it because we're sticking together," he said.
The shooting is the latest in a series of similar incidents that have taken place across South Florida in the past two months. On Dec 19, 15-year-old Aaron Willis was shot and left paralyzed while riding his bike in the area of Northwest First Avenue and 28th Street in Miami. Three days later, Bryan Herrera, 16, was fatally shot in the area of Northwest 11th Avenue and 39th Street while heading to a friend's house. "When Bryan Herrera lost his life riding his bicycle to do homework, I was there with his father on Christmas Day," said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
On Saturday, 16-year-old Marquis Bruson was fatally shot in the area of Northwest 62nd Street and 13th Place in Liberty City. "Too many parents are burying too many kids," said Carvalho. "There have been seven different shootings in the past week. It's too much," he observed.
The county official visited today's victim at JMH around 5 p.m., Monday. He said the teen, a student at Booker T. Washington High School, opened his eyes during his visit.
"A number of things need to be done, both inside and outside of school," Carvalho said. "We already have a crisis intervention team that visited the family and the student. Today and tomorrow there will be crisis counselors deployed to the school to consort with the staff and the students alike. Obviously, even though these are acts that were perpetrated outside of school, every time they happen, we deploy additional security officers and police officers to the area."
The teen's aunt, Lissette Barahona, lamented what happened to her nephew. "He's a very good student. He's been working really hard to finish his high school. A lot of teenagers nowadays are not finishing high school, and he enjoys what he's been doing. He's a good kid that happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.
Police are interviewing residents and witnesses to try to determine a motive.
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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