MIAMI (WSVN) - As police step up their search for the gunmen who shot eight people during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Miami, one of the youngest victims is speaking out for the first time.
Keionna Green, 13, told 7News on Wednesday that she is too scared to leave her home after a bullet grazed her during the celebration at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, two days ago. She said it all began with a fight between boys, then led to gunshots.
“These boys they started fighting,” Keionna said. “Then we turned around we heard gunshots, and I just started running because I was scared.”
As Keionna ran from the park just before 4 p.m., a bullet grazed her.
“I felt something hot hit me, and it was burning me, but I just kept running,” Keionna said.
In the chaos, after eight people had been shot, strangers rushed Keionna into their Northwest Miami-Dade home to keep her safe, she said.
Another victim, 20-year-old Gerome Battle, recounted the panic from his hospital bed on Tuesday.
“I just told somebody to help me, help,” he said.
Battle has already undergone two surgeries for his gunshot wounds.
Shawnteri Wilson said that after she was shot, she thought about her sister.
“I was on the ground, and they were still shooting,” Wilson said. “Only thing on my mind is my little sister, and I hope I don’t get shot again.”
Battle, Wilson, Keionne and the other victims are all expected to be recover from their wounds, but they will never forget that day.
“I thought I was going to die that day because the gunshots were so close. They were right there,” Keionna said.
Meanwhile, police are walking door to door pleading with people in the community to share any information they might have.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez joined with community leaders, Tuesday, to condemn the shooting and asked for the public’s help.
“On Martin Luther King Jr. Day every year this community comes together to celebrate with his great parade,” Perez said, “Yet we’re here, not talking about the parade but the aftermath.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho added, “People who know need to speak. The code of silence needs to be broken.”
County Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson said that if people don’t turn in the shooters, they encourage them.
“When we don’t turn them in, we’re sending the message you can continue doing it,” Edmonson said, “because we’re not going to tell.”
Police officers did arrest Alexander Brito-Peralta and Tavarius Flowers for having guns on them but not for the shooting.
Flowers also faces a child abuse charge, after telling police that he left his kids with his gun as he searched for his third son.
Officers are handing out a flyer with no pictures of the shooters, just a description of two young men. They are believed to be 18 or 19 years old.
“It’s very difficult because we need information from the community in general to solve these cases,” said Miami-Dade Police Major Ricky Carter. “If the community is close-minded to use, then we can’t help.”
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 $21,000 reward.
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