Police: 17-year-old fatally shot outside apartment building

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) — Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old male outside a Miami Gardens apartment building.

Miami Gardens Police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units were dispatched to the scene at the brand new Oaks apartment complex, in the area of 17612 NW 25th Ave., at around 4 p.m., Tuesday. 

A witness told 7News that he heard 10 gunshots and then saw the teenager on the ground. Devastated family members arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting, but 17-year-old Roderick Sweeting had already died in the parking lot. "I just heard gunshots, like 10 of them," said witness Kwame. 

Miami Gardens Police told 7News that an officer, who was nearby, heard the gunshots and went to the complex to find the teenager’s body. 

The bullets were unleashed as Sweeting was returning home from school. According to a witness only identified as Kwame, the victim’s mother tried to help but to no avail. "She was trying to help him, but he was gone already," he said. "He had his hand over his face. He was gone already. They pronounced him dead on the ground."

Family and friends gathered around the police tape, shocked at what happened and said he stayed out of trouble. "He was a good kid, very quiet. A student in school. I never knew him to have any problems," said Sweeting’s uncle Derrick Smith. 

According to family members, this isn’t the first time that tragedy has struck their family. Relatives said that several years ago, Sweeting’s brother died after being struck by a stray bullet. 

Too much violence, too few people speaking up. "It’s going to take a community effort to continue, people got to step up, talk," said Community activist Pastor Eric Readon. "Speak about it, break the no snitching policy, so we can bring people to justice." 

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted a similar notion:

Relatives said Sweeting attended Miami American Senior High. Miami-Dade County Public School officials said there will be grief counselors and crisis management teams available at the school, Wednesday.

Police are still investigating. However, they still do not have a description of the shooter.

If you have any information on this fatal shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.