SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Family and friends are grieving the killing of 15-year-old boy after gunfire broke out at a Southwest Miami-Dade home during a Halloween party attended by high school students.
Miami-Dade Police responded to the home in the area of Southwest 132nd Avenue and 200th Street after 11 p.m., Saturday.
The shooting was gang-related, police confirmed, but the victim, later identified as Angel Cueli, was not the intended target.
“Please, anybody, if you know something, speak!” Patti Huergo, Cueli’s mother, said through tears. “This cannot continue. The world is falling apart, and the only way we can fix this is by helping each other, not killing each other. My son did not have an adult to help him. He was surrounded by children. This has to stop! It has to stop! There’s too many kids! Too many kids!”
Investigators said a gunman approached the home where the party was taking place and opened fire on guests before fleeing into a waiting vehicle.
“It hurts losing somebody that was very nice to you and towards others, and losing somebody like that is not something that is wanted to anybody,” Yeshua Salgado, Cueli’s friend, said.
Alfred Cueli, the victim’s father, said he is furious and is urging parents to take action.
“Am I angry? I’m a volcano,” he said. “The people that did that, they are too stupid to know what they did. I throw the responsibility on the parents. Our kids are going to the waste basket because of us.”
A neighbor — who asked not to be identified or show her face on camera — described the chaotic moments after, she said, shots rang out.
“I opened the door when I see all these kids running– ‘bop, bop, bop, bop, bop,'” she said. “They turned around and, ‘bop, bop, bop, bop, bop.’ That’s when I heard that, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, Jesus Christ.'”
Video posted to Instagram and shared with 7News provided a glimpse inside the house party before the violent turn of events.
“They were all running for their life. They were holding each other. They were just, ‘Go, run! They were shooting, they were shooting!'” said the neighbor. “And then this girl told me that they were just sitting down, and somebody just came by, rolled down the window, ‘tew, tew, tew, tew, tew.'”
Fire Rescue units responded to the scene to find the victim shot in the abdomen on the street.
Paramedics airlifted him to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
“Just do the right thing,” Crueli said. “It’s that simple. Do the right thing. You took an innocent life, and my son will never be coming back. You don’t want to be in my shoes. Hug and kiss your children. You may never get them back.”
Classmates and their parents were visibly distraught at a Sunday evening memorial in Cueli’s honor outside of the home where the party took place.
“It’s very heartbreaking to know that he’s not with us anymore,” said a classmate.
Mourners left flowers where they last saw their friend. 7News has learned he was a freshman at Miami Coral Park Senior High School.
In a tweet posted Sunday afternoon, Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho offered his condolences to the victim’s family and confirmed he was a student at a county school.
“He was very, very sweet kid, very funny, outgoing,” said the classmate.
Police said Cueli attended Coral Park Senior High School.
7News spoke with his grandmother on Monday.
“Well, what can I tell you?” Marie Cueli said. “He was a really beautiful human being. He was an angel.”
As police hunt for the person who pulled the trigger, residents of this quiet street said they can’t help but think about the victim’s loved ones and their devastating loss.
“I feel so bad for [his mother]. These days you can’t even let your kids go nowhere,” said the neighbor as she fought back tears. “You’ve got to be overprotective. It’s so sad.”
Friends and family filled St. Brendan’s Catholic Church in Southwest Miami-Dade for a special mass, Monday night.
Police have not provided further details about a motive or suspect, as they continue to investigate. They said a black sedan was involved.
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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