MIAMI LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - An Opa-locka man and his family are mourning the death of his 18-year-old son after, police said, he was gunned down in a hail of bullets.
Free Balbona is in disbelief and struggling to grapple with the tragic loss of his son, Isaiah Balbona, late Friday night.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever done is watch my son fade away,” he said.
According to Opa-locka Police, shots were fired along the 13100 block of Northwest 32nd Avenue, just before 10 p.m.
Balbona believes his son was targeted.
“My son went out with some friends. My daughter talked with somebody to exchange something — a cellphone, something. The guy said, Hey, I’m here,'” he said. “When he got there, [my son said], ‘Where are you at?’ When they looked, several people came out and ambushed him. Thirty rounds.”
Paramedics airlifted the victim to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Balbona said Isaiah held on for 14 hours but eventually succumbed to his injuries.
“He took most of the shots. Shots hit him in the head,” he said.
Balbona said Isaiah leaves behind eight brothers and sisters. He described the teen as a person with a good sense of humor, a family clown who was well-loved and very close to his mother and siblings.
Now, as police investigate and search for the killer, a grieving father is left learning how to fight through the pain.
“My son was 18 years old, not perfect, but he was my son,” he said. “Children bury parents; parents don’t bury children.”
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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