MIAMI (WSVN) - Police are searching for the person or people responsible for fatally shooting two people, including a teenage boy, and injuring four others during a wake for another young victim of gun violence, early Saturday.
Witnesses described how gunshots rang out near Northwest 83rd Terrace and Northwest 19th Avenue, in Northwest Miami-Dade, at around 12:40 a.m. “We heard multiple gunshots. It was, like, over 50,” said witness Chantel Walton.
Mourners had gathered to pay their respects to a 19-year-old man who, they said, had been shot and killed last week. “That’s my son’s friend. He was shot multiple times,” said the Rev. Vernon Gillum, a pastor at a local church. “I tried to get help for him, but it was too late.”
Police and fire rescue crews responded to the scene of Saturday’s drive-by shooting. A 22-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy were pronounced dead.
Family members identified the teen as Isaiah Solomon, a cousin of the shooting victim for whom the wake was being held.
Speaking with News, Saturday evening, his mother, Sirena Harrell, said she woke up to 18 missed calls overnight. Then she learned the tragic news.
Harrell said she had let her son attend the wake. “I feel guilty in a way, because I packed his bags and I allowed him to go down there to be supportive,” she said. “I feel like if I didn’t let him go, it wouldn’t have happened to him.”
Gillum said Verneisha, his 20-year-old daughter, was among the other four people who sustained gunshot wounds. “We’re grateful to God that God allowed her to be spared in the midst of this tragic event,” he said.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue transported Verneisha, who suffered a shoulder injury, to Ryder Trauma Center in stable condition. She remained hospitaized Saturday night.
Two male victims were also transported to Ryder Trauma Center in stable condition, and a third man was treated and released at the scene.
After daybreak, 7News cameras captured a K-9 unit searching for clues.
Now Harrell has to plan a funeral for her son who, she said, wanted to become an FBI agent when he grew up. “To now be burying or making funeral arrangements for my 15-year-old baby, I just can’t process that,” she said.
Gillum said steps must be taken to address gun violence. “This is something that’s been going on, an epidemic in our community, for quite some time now, locally and nationally,” he said. “This whole violence, gun violence, is spinning out of control.”
Walton said shootings like the one she witnessed keep happening because members of the community refuse to come forward. “People are being loyal to the streets and they’re not talking, and this is the reason it keeps happening, is that nobody talks,” she said. “It’s never going to change.”
“I am a grieving, brokenhearted, empty mother right now, over something so senseless that didn’t have to be,” said Harrell, “because people don’t value or respect life anymore.”
Police have not given a description of a getaway vehicle. The investigation continues.
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 $3,000 reward.
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