NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Devastated family members are mourning the loss of a 3-year-old boy after, they said, he was shot and killed at his own birthday party in Northeast Miami-Dade.
Meanwhile, police officers canvassed a neighborhood and handed out flyers as they continue their search for the person or people responsible.
Speaking with 7News on Sunday, Adrian Annestor said his cousin, Elijah LaFrance, was full of life.
“I wish I could tell him goodbye,” he said. “That boy was so happy.”
Annestor said the shooting took place in front of a short-term rental where the party was taking place, near North Miami Avenue and Northeast 158th Street, just after 8 p.m., Saturday.
“He’s too sweet. He doesn’t deserve it,” he said.
Annestor said he left just before a person or people came by and unloaded multiple rounds at the home.
Miami-Dade Police said LaFrance and a 21-year-old woman were struck by bullets.
Last night a three-year-old was shot & killed at a birthday party. There are no words to describe the immense loss & anger our community is feeling. We will do everything we can to bring this murderer to justice & we must stand together to demand an end to this cycle of tragedy. https://t.co/nWxbSgzMMm
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) April 25, 2021
MDPD Director Alfredo Ramirez III said the first officer who arrived at the scene saw the injured boy and rushed in to help.
“My officer swiftly picked up the child from the floor, put him in his police car and drove him to the hospital, and unfortunately the child is deceased,” he said.
“I wish it could be me. He could take my spot, and then he could live,” said Annestor. “They took him away so quick. He’ll never have the chance to see the future, never have the chance to see the next generation.”
The woman was transported to an area hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Neighbors said they heard between 20 and 30 rounds being fired.
“My roommate was backing up in the driveway when he saw people standing with guns at the end of our driveway,” said an area resident.
One neighbor showed a 7News crew what appeared to be a bullet hole left in his car. Several more bullet holes were seen all over the property.
Investigators said there was some sort of altercation that led to the shooting. Now they are asking for the public’s help in locating whoever is responsible.
Our detectives are working around the clock, using all available resources, to solve the murder of 3-year-old Elijah LaFrance. We are out in the community handing out flyers, asking for any possible leads. If you have any information, please contact @crimestopper305 305-471-8477. pic.twitter.com/9eoIyYe0HL
— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) April 25, 2021
Pictures tweeted out by police on Sunday showed detectives handing out flyers, as they searched for information.
Ramirez III vowed to do everything in his power to catch LaFrance’s killer.
“I can tell you, as a father and as a member of this community, I’m completely devastated. I’m disgusted,” he said. “My condolences to the family, and I can assure you that all the resources of the Miami-Dade Police Department will be deployed to bring these subjects into custody. I call out those subjects: you better turn yourself in ’cause we’re not going to let this go. That’s a 3-year-old child. That’s our future.”
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $5,000 reward.
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