NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A 13-year-old is recovering in the hospital after he was shot in the Brownsville neighborhood of Northwest Miami-Dade, Tuesday night.
Around 6:30 p.m., Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue responded to a shooting in the area of 4725 N.W. 24th Ave., just across the street from Brownsville Middle School. Some witnesses told police they heard the shots fired while others said they saw the victim, Cedrick Pernell, lying on the ground with a bullet wound to the back.
“I was in the house, and I thought it was fireworks, until I came outside, and I see him laying on the ground,” said one witness, who did not wish to be identified. “Actually, when I came outside, I thought he was like, gone. Thank God he wasn’t.”
MDFR transported the victim to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery.
“Responding officers were given the description of a white Mercedes-Benz vehicle that was seen fleeing the area,” said Detective Marjorie Eloi.
Officers were eventually able to locate the car, but the suspects fled from police, eventually losing control and crashing into a pole along 56th Street and Seventh Avenue.
The suspects in custody are a 15-year-old, a 17-year-old and an adult identified as 19-year-old Eric Williams-Bell, according to police.
Officials said Williams-Bell was driving the white Mercedes when the passenger began to shoot. He faced a judge Wednesday and the 17-year-old was in juvenile court on Tuesday. The judge ordered the 17-year-old to stay away from the victim.
Prosecutors said the shooting is gang-related. “People don’t realize until it hits home,” said Barbara Ingram, who lives near the location of the shooting. “That’s why we need to come together and find out, to resolve this situation.”
Parents of students who attend Brownsville Middle, where Pernell went to school at one point, were sad to learn that another child was gunned down. “They need to stop shooting,” said another man, who lives near the shooting. “That’s it.”
Avaoian West, who also lives near where the shooting occurred said that there is too much violence happening on the streets. “I fear for their safety, I fear for their safety, you know,” he said. “It’s just too much killing, man. Too much violence. Children killing children. For what reason?”
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho responded to Pernell’s shooting on social media, along with another shooting that happened around 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, in Liberty City, involving an 18-year-old victim.
“Unfortunately, we find ourselves almost regularly now having to deal with shootings where a juvenile is either the victim or the subject,” Eloi said. “We’re asking members of the community, when they see something, to contact us. Thankfully, no other persons were injured in this incident, but this could’ve obviously ended tragically.”
Meanwhile, in Southwest Miami-Dade, concerned community members held a meeting on gun violence, after a drive-by shooting involving teens occurred over the weekend. News of the 13-year-old’s shooting quickly spread.
“I got word that another 13-year-old was shot,” said Miami-Dade Police Dir. Juan Perez. “A kid who, he’s going to be 14 real soon. Somebody called, gave descriptions, we found the car, we got the players.”
A neighbor said, while she didn’t know Pernell’s name, she saw him around, and he acted respectful. “He was actually like respectful, a good little boy, yeah,” the woman said.
The teen suspects received no bond.
Pernell, who turns 14 years old Thursday, is said to be in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital and has undergone surgery.
“We have to address this violence, and we have to be more efficient in how we address it,” Perez said.
Community leaders and parents came together at South Dade Library, Wednesday night, to brainstorm ways to keep such shootings from happening again.
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