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Reward raised to $25K in fatal shooting of toddler in Goulds

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Police said they are using every resource available to find whoever is responsible for fatally shooting a 2-year-old boy in the courtyard of an apartment complex in the Goulds neighborhood of Southwest Miami-Dade.

That includes a $22,000 increase to the $3,000 reward initially offered for information leading to an arrest in this tragedy that has sent shock waves across South Florida.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez urged the public to step up and identify whoever took the life of the young victim, Friday evening. Family members identified the toddler as Carnell Williams-Thomas.

The police director did not mince words. “I get angry when I hear this happening in our community,” he said.

Area pastors and community leaders joined Perez on Saturday to make a plea for justice across the street from the apartment complex where Williams-Thomas was shot and killed, in the area Southwest 215th Street and 114th Court.

“As I stood at the scene, and I looked out and I saw the little boy’s scooter laying on the ground still, I said to myself once again, this has got to stop,” said Miami Dade County Commissioner Dennis Moss.

“We can no longer allow this injustice to happen to our children,” said the Rev. Anthony Reed.

Carnell Williams-Thomas

Police received the call about the shooting at around 6:15 p.m., Friday.

Investigators said the boy was in the courtyard of the complex, with his mother by his side, when he was shot.

“Playing like all kids play,” said Perez. “What was going through that mind when the bullet was whistling through the air?

Paramedics airlifted the toddler to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Now community leaders and police are calling on the community to come forward with information. “We want the shooter. we will get the shooter,” said one community leader.

“The motivating factor should be the last breath of that child as he lay on the ground, while my officer gave first aid,” said Perez. “We should not be giving CPR to a 2-year-old child.”

The reward for information leading to an arrest in this case jumped from $23,000 to $25,000 on Sunday.

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 $25,000 reward.