South Florida woman shot and killed in broad daylight, Miami Gardens Police need help finding her killer

(WSVN) - The story of a woman gunned down while walking to work in broad daylight. Karen Hensel explains why a month later, her sisters are now turning to 7 Investigates.

This is video from the first day of school as 39-year-old Misty Hopkins led kids in like the Pied Piper.

Nicole Scroggins, friend: “She’s like your biggest support system, like no matter what you are doing.”

LaToya Carey, friend: “She was never a sad person. She always laughed.”

But her laughter was silenced the day the mother of eight was shot and killed at this business center on Northwest 27th Avenue near 175th Street in Miami Gardens.

It was a Friday — March 19 — around lunchtime.

Misty was returning to work at her salon Hair Free, talking to a friend on the phone.

Melanie Wilsthire, sister: “She was on the phone with her, and I guess she told her. I guess somebody startled her, and she was like, ‘Wow, oh, you scared me. What are you here for?’ And then, all of the sudden, I guess with him like pulling out the gun on her, I guess. Then, she heard gunshots.”

Karen Hensel: “Did she indicate whether she thought Misty knew this person?”

Melanie Wilsthire: “I don’t think she did because she said, ‘Oh, you scared me. Who you here for?’ And that’s it.”

Karen Hensel: “And she heard gunshots.”

Melanie Wilsthire: “Hmmm.”

Miami Gardens Police say Misty Hopkins was approaching the salon door when she was confronted and shot to death by a man wearing a black hoodie. She died here in this hallway. Police say the man fled down these stairs and headed west crossing Northwest 27th Avenue.

The women say Misty was not robbed but was shot several times.

Karen Hensel: “What does that tell you?”

Melanie Wilsthire: “That it was intentional. That they were out to seek revenge.”

LaToya Carey: “Personal but not towards her because she wouldn’t harm a fly.”

They believe their friend was targeted for some reason because of the brutal way she was killed.

They say many were too afraid to go to the funeral.

LaToya Carey: “If a person was that bold to kill her in broad daylight, who’s to say you wouldn’t come to the funeral?”

Nicole and LaToya are Misty’s lifelong friends, and Melanie is her biological sister.

Nicole Scroggins: “Sisters…”

They share a friendship so close they consider themselves all sisters.

LaToya Carey: “That’s what you do.”

But staying away from her little sister’s funeral was especially hard for Melanie.

Melanie Wilsthire: “It’s not right. You have to be some kind of devil to even try to shoot her in her face and just the thought of you just putting the bullet to her face…”

LaToya Carey: “Imagine they have to have a closed casket funeral, and she’s beautiful. You see her. She was beautiful.”

Nicole Scroggins: “I don’t know why the bullets were aimed at her, but to even say goodbye, you know, she didn’t deserve that type of goodbye. She should have been celebrated.”

There was sheer anguish the day Misty Hopkins died, and now a month later, her sisters are hoping someone will come forward to find her killer.

LaToya Carey: “Justice has got to be served, and somebody has got to speak up. If we don’t speak up, then what’s going to happen? Turn yourself in. You broke a lot of hearts.”

Misty Hopkins was a wife, daughter, mother, grandmother and sister.

Her youngest child is just 2 years old.

Melanie Wilsthire: “How do you tell a 2-year-old their mom is gone? He’s missing so much, and for him to be 2 years old, I just don’t understand.”

The sisters are pleading if you saw something, say something and call police.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

If you have any information on Misty’s shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for the $5,000 reward.


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