Police open homicide investigation into Liberty City shooting as teen declared brain dead

MIAMI (WSVN) - Police have opened a homicide investigation into a shooting outside an apartment complex in Liberty City that has left a teenage boy on life support.

Doctors believe the damage that 16-year-old Master Johnson Jr. suffered as a result of Friday night’s shooting is so severe that he will likely not regain consciousness. They pronounced him brain dead earlier this week.

Tuesday afternoon, the teen’s mother continued a bedside vigil at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Police said Johnson was shot outside the Lincoln Fields Apartments in the area of Northwest 64th Street and 20th Avenue.

According to investigators, the victim was shot in the head feet away from his family’s unit in what they described as a drive-by.

Witnesses said they saw Johnson and some friends heading home to his family’s apartment when someone opened fire and shot him in the head.

Tuesday morning, it was a somber return to class for students at Miami Jackson Senior High School, where Johnson is a student and plays junior varsity basketball.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho visited the school along with grief counselors Tuesday morning to speak to the students regarding Johnson’s shooting.

Carvalho also made a morning announcement to the school addressing the shooting.

“He was seen by many as a leader, and I’ve had a chance of speaking with a number of individuals who knew him.” Carvalho said, “I’ve had a chance of speaking with his mom, who happens to be one of our colleagues, and I want to express to all of you that we are in this together.”

Word of the shooting spread to his classmates.

“I feel bad. He might have had a long future ahead of him,” said student Ana Flores.

Carvalho joined Johnson’s mother at her bedside vigil, where she holds out hope for a miracle.

“This should not have happened. This is a basketball player, plays for the junior varsity team,” said Carvalho, “and he was part of the Junior ROTC program. I saw pictures of him in uniform. A life full of promise, robbed.”

Miami-Dade Police are still investigating the cause of the shooting and figuring out the identity of the perpetrator behind it.

“It is not right. The carnage that continues to affect our community needs to stop,” said Carvalho. “The courage to say what is known in a community needs to emerge.”

Johnson’s family has asked for privacy at this time.

If you have any information regarding Johnson’s shooting, you’re urged to 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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