As police and community members search for solutions to gun violence in Miami-Dade, authorities arrested a third person in connection with the drive-by shooting that killed a 7-year-old boy over the weekend.
Michael Tobler, 19, was taken into custody Wednesday in connection with the death of Amiere Castro on Sunday. Dravein Duke, 19, and Maxwell Trewin, 18, were previously arrested.
"All of them, and they're in custody, even the ones that started the business before it happened. They are in custody right now as we speak," said Alfredo Ramirez with the Miami-Dade Police Department.
According to a police report, Tobler was "responsible for generating the retaliatory shooting" that resulted in Amiere's death. The child had been visiting family over the holidays and was sitting in the living room playing with toys when he was killed by a spray of bullets.
"When I got that phone call from Calvin, who is the major of the homicide bureau, I was mowing my lawn and I was devastated. I told him all hands on deck. We will not tolerate our youth getting killed," Ramirez recalled.
The report says Duke, Trewin and several other male teens went to a home in the 15000 block of Jackson Street around 3 p.m. Sunday to buy marijuana from Tobler.
Duke, Trewin and another teen got out of the car, while two others stayed inside. After the sale was complete, Tobler and Duke got into an argument over a possible stolen firearm, according to police.
Police said Tobler took out a gun and shoved the muzzle into Duke's abdomen, threatening to kill him. Duke, Trewin and the other teen got back into the car and started to drive away when Tobler fired three times at the vehicle, according to police. Trewin, the driver, accelerated and drove off.
Duke and Trewin returned about 20 minutes later, police said. As they drove past the house, Trewin opened fire from inside the vehicle, shooting and killing Amiere as he played in the living room.
Amiere's aunt, the homeowner, denies claims that the shooting stemmed from an earlier incident.
"I'm here for my community. I'm here for my nephew, for my niece, for my family. My house is not a drug house," she said during a forum Wednesday evening.
Amiere was not the only young victim of gun violence this week. A 13-year-old boy was severely injured in a separate shooting less than 24 hours after Amiere was killed.
Eric Watson Jr. was outside talking with friends in the 13600 block of Southwest 263rd Terrace when he was shot three times in the torso around 7 p.m. Monday. He was airlifted to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.
Family members said Tuesday Eric was out of surgery and doing well. Although he remains in critical condition, Eric is expected to make a full recovery, according to his family.
"He hasn't even begun to live. He's just a baby," neighbor Weniford Kemp said.
Residents want answers and are trying to figure out how to keep their children safe.
"We have an epidemic. There are children killing children, and we need to wipe it out," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said during the forum.
Duke made an appearance in court Wednesday, where the judge ordered him held without bond. A defense attorney called it a case of mistaken identity.
Trewin remains in the hospital after he was bitten by a K-9. It wasn't immediately clear if he or Tobler had hired attorneys who could comment on the case.