Loved ones mourn teens gunned down in Miami, Homestead

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - Families and friends of two teens gunned down in Homestead and the City of Miami over the weekend are now in mourning and asking for help catching the killers.

“It’s sad. It’s really sad that he had to die that way,” said one neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Standing in the same spot where he was gunned down, the woman mourned the death of 17-year-old Jatavious Williams, who was killed Sunday.

“I tried, we tried. He was trying to fight, but he couldn’t. That’s what is bothering me so much,” the woman said. “We tried to help him, and we just … we couldn’t.”

The woman said her own children had just returned home from Blakey Park on Southwest Sixth Street and 14th Avenue when, police said, three people walked up and opened fire.

“This park was full of people. Those cowards didn’t care about no one,” the woman said. “This park was full of kids, people exercising out here. They didn’t care.”

Williams died just feet away from his home. He was a senior at Grace Christian Preparatory and a member of Grace of God Baptist Church.

“This was a kid that actually turned bad means into good means and was due to graduate this year, just was a very kind kid,” said Pastor Mark Coats. “This was truly a good kid, a really good kid. Turned his life around, just got through helping out with the Christmas program.”

This is the second shooting to take the life of a teen in less than 48 hours. Danny Alvarez, 17, was shot and killed near Southwest Fourth Street and 31st Avenue in the City of Miami, at around 1 a.m. Saturday.

“I woke at the sound of – I thought it was firecrackers,” said a woman who did not want to be identified.

Now, police and residents are searching for the killers as they push for an end to gun violence.

“Justice will be served. It will be, but it’s sad that it had to happen like this,” Williams’ neighbor said. “Someone had to lose their life over senseless foolishness.”

Classmates wrote letters to Williams’ family, Monday, as they grieve, while the school administrator and pastor make a painful plea to end the violence.

“Unless we all come together and figure this out, this will continue,” said Coats.

If you have any information on either of these shootings, 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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