Police: 7-year-old child, father killed in Miami Gardens drive-by shooting

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities are searching for the person or people responsible for a drive-by shooting in Miami Gardens that left a father and son dead, according to Miami Gardens Police.

Miami Gardens Police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene in the area of Northwest 207th Street and 37th Avenue, just after 7 p.m., Sunday.

According to investigators, the victims were driving north on Northwest 37th Avenue in a pickup truck when a dark-colored vehicle pulled up next to them, and someone inside opened fire, striking the victims.

“The occupant proceeded to shoot at the occupants within the black pickup truck,” said Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt.

A day after the shooting, broken glass could be seen on the side of the street where the shooting occurred.

A witness told 7News the pickup then skidded off the sidewalk, scraped a concrete wall and broke off a piece of that wall.

According to police, when officers arrived, they found both victims, later identified as 31-year-old Lavel Mucherson and 7-year-old Hezekiah Mucherson, dead at the scene.

“We have two persons deceased in the pickup truck at this time,” said Noel-Pratt.

Police said Lavel had a criminal record, and he was the victim of two other shootings in Miami Gardens. One of the shootings was in 2009 while the other was in 2011, police said.

It remains unclear whether or not the victims fired back but investigators said two handguns and a rifle were found in Lavel’s truck.

“Unknown shots were returned by the victim. However, there were multiple shots that were fired at the pickup truck,” Noel-Pratt said. “In the victim vehicle, there were two weapons, one being an unknown-caliber rifle and the other one being a handgun. We believe at this time that the victim was targeted in some fashion. The investigation is continuing right now.”

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said on Twitter, “I am sickened to learn a 7-year-old was the victim of an apparent targeted shooting that also took the life of an adult. Our children continue to become collateral damage in the gun violence plaguing our community and nation. This is an outrage.”

“At the very least there must be justice for a 7-year-old boy whose future was stolen from him,” another post by Carvalho read. “Tragically, nothing will bring Hezekiah or his father back, but murder, especially murder of a child, must not go unpunished. Please come forward if you have information.”

Police shut down Northwest 37th Avenue from 205th to 211th streets while they investigated.

Detectives have not provided further details about a possible shooter or shooters.

If you have any information on this homicide, 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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