MIAMI (WSVN) - Two men were shot after an online transaction turned out to be a setup for a robbery, said police.
According to family members of the two victims, one of the men had listed a cell phone for sale online and went to meet with a potential buyer. Relatives said, he thought he was doing the right thing by meeting up in a public place, in broad daylight. He also brought a friend along. However, police said, the gunmen had no intention of buying anything, and things quickly turned into a robbery and double shooting.
“It appears to be a robbery, a social media robbery,” said Miami Gardens Police Maj. Ralph Suarez, “and that’s something we want to warn the citizens, to be aware that this is going on and not to take part in meeting somebody to sell or buy anything at this type of location.”
According officials, a vehicle with an unknown amount of occupants pulled up next to another vehicle occupied by the seller and his friend. The shooting happened Thursday afternoon, near Scott Park, at 17710 N.W. 15th Ct. Witnesses said the gunmen opened fire as the victims stepped out of their car, injuring both of them.
One woman, who did not wish to be identified, said the shots could be heard across the street from the park. “Yeah, she was like, ‘I never seen that a day in my life. Oh, my God.'”
That woman also said she had a conversation with an eyewitness right after the shots were heard. “She was crying. I thought it was her people,” she told 7News. “She was like, ‘No, I was was coming down the street, going to the crib, and I stop, and I see the guy just shoot the guy.’ She said the guy was standing out the car, and he was shooting the guy, face-to-face shooting him.”
One of the victims, 23-year-old Jerry Jean was airlifted to Jackson Memorial’s Ryder Trauma Center in extremely critical condition. The other victim was rushed to Aventura Hospital with less severe injuries.
Thursday night, Jean’s family told 7News they are holding out hope for their loved one, who underwent surgery. “He’s in critical condition. He’s fighting right now for his life,” said the victim’s brother Diderot Jean. “[He’s] nice, loving caring.”
Officials would not provide the name of the online network where the men met, but they said popular websites like Craigslist, Facebook and others are used for these types of transactions.
Miami Gardens local and mother Audria Green is fearful for the children’s safety. “It’s actually a scary feeling because it’s broad daylight, and this is the time all the kids are out,” she said. “They have after school programs, all type of stuff go on out here, so that’s a scary feeling.”
Green told 7News that she walked by just before the shots were fired and walked by just after with a group of kids. Thankfully, no one was hurt from the group.
As unsettled as Green is for her children’s safety, she’s not nearly as shaken up as the victim’s family. “I ran down here to come check on him,” his brother said.
Jean’s family friend told 7News they want justice for his friend. “Get the people who did it,” he said.
Jean is now in a room in intensive care at JMH. Several family members are waiting to see him and be by his side.
Police want people who are looking to make an online transaction to know that they can meet up at the police station parking lot. As far as this case goes, police are still unsure of how many people they are looking for.
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 $1,000 reward.
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