MIAMI (WSVN) - Two sisters in their 20s were killed and two other people were taken to the hospital after a drive-by shooting at an apartment complex in Northwest Miami-Dade, officials and relatives said.
There was a heavy police presence as Miami-Dade Police officers responded to the scene in the area of Northwest 19th Avenue and 60th Street, Sunday.
Officials said the victims had gathered alongside a vehicle when the subjects opened fire from inside another car.
The sisters’ cousin, Terry Silien, said the victims were going out with some friends at the time of the shooting.
“They were thinking that they were going to have fun on a Saturday night. It turned tragic,” he said. “I have to bury two young ladies. A sad, unfortunate situation right now that my family has to go through.”
Investigators said one of the victims was inside a vehicle while the other three were outside when they were struck by bullets.
Police said a responding officer attempted to stop a vehicle leaving the area, and the driver refused to stop. All occupants later abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.
Officers set up a perimeter and detained three people for questioning.
Officials have identified the deceased victims as Broward County residents Joanna and Stephanie Telusme. Joanna was 24 years old and Stephanie was 27.
“They were like little sisters to me,” said Silien.
The women’s sister, Sonia Telusme, spoke with 7News over the phone about the sudden tragedy.
“No one was expecting this. This wasn’t supposed to happen to them,” she said.
Rescue crews transported the surviving victims, a man and a woman, to Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition. They were later identified as 30-year-old Robert Allen and 24-year-old Jennifer Charles.
Family members said Stephanie was a medical assistant and a rising YouTube vlogger, and her younger sister was a dental assistant who also wanted to vlog.
Silien said it’s heartbreaking to see their big dreams cut short.
“You always feel bad when you hear about gun violence, but when it hits home, it’s just an indescribable feeling,” he said, “a feeling that you just think that you’re trapped in a maze or something. You’re just lost right now, and I just feel lost.”
“I’m just trying not to be angry and just keep praying to God to not be angry,” said Sonia.
As detectives search for clues to find the sisters’ killers, their family is left with the painful memory of losing two loved ones in one night.
“Just stop this gun violence. It’s senseless. Two young ladies are not here, and they weren’t even the ones who were targeted,” said Silien. “They were innocent bystanders that got hit in the crossfire.”
Sonia said she is looking to a higher power to help her through the agonizing days ahead.
“Heaven gained two beautiful angels, and they can be the most powerful angels in our lives,” she said.
Police have since released two of the people they had taken into custody. They arrested the third person on an unrelated charge of marijuana possession.
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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