Reward raised in 12-year-old girl's shooting
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Officials are raising the reward for anyone who has more information regarding the Miami Gardens drive-by shooting that killed a 12-year-old girl and injured her grandmother.
On Tuesday afternoon, six days after the incident, a relative made a painful plea as Miami Gardens Police released new information about this tragedy. However, they, along with a heartbroken family, are still desperate for the public's help. "We need your help," said Chanae Forshee, the victim's aunt, who had to pause to compose herself. "Somebody, somewhere, knows something about what took place that night."
Forshee stood next to 12-year-old Tequila Forshee's father, who was too distraught to talk but shed tears during his sister's pleas. "Our appeal is to the community, that anyone who knows anything about the individuals who are responsible for this horrific crime to please come forward," she said. "Step forward and help our family to help our little Titi."
The shooting happened Wednesday night, at about 11:15, near a home along 42nd Avenue and Northwest 201st Street. Relatives said the 12-year-old was getting her hair braided for her first day of school when the residence was sprayed with bullets, fatally striking Tequila in the head.
Tawanda Brown, the victim's grandmother, was shot in the leg during the shooting. Not long after being discharged from the hospital, she recalled how she ordered her granddaughter, who was sitting in her lap, to the ground. "I'm telling her, 'Tequila, stay down,' and I'm trying to get the other grandbabies to get down; stay down," she said, adding that Tequila died in her arms.
Police detectives released new information Tuesday, noting that they are looking for a total of five teenagers in connection to this shooting. Four of the teens had doubled up on two pairs of bicycles, and investigators said there may have been a fifth person running alongside those bikes. Miami Gardens Police Deputy Chief Paul Miller said, "They ran east on 201st Street and south on 42nd Avenue towards 199 Street, which is a major thoroughfare. I'm asking anybody that saw anything traveling down that roadway, which is a major intersection in our city, to please call. Let us see if it's verifiable or relevant to the investigation."
The reward for information on this young victim's killer now stands at $30,000. As much as $25,000 of that comes from an anonymous donor and $5,000 from Crime Stoppers. Dick Masten, the director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, said, "If you're out there, and you know something about this case, make no mistake: If you don't pick up that phone, then you've got blood on your hands."
If you have any information on this shooting and these suspicious teens who fled on bikes, 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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