The family of a boy who was fatally shot at a northwest Miami-Dade nail salon on Monday urged the public to help find the 10-year-old's killers.
Aaron Vu, 10, died at a hospital after he was shot when two gunmen barged into Hong Kong Nails at 14832 Northwest 7th Ave. Friday night, police said.
His father Hai Vu, who is recovering from his injuries, and Aaron's younger brother and sister just got the news that Aaron had passed away, the boy's great-aunt Phuong Pham said at a press conference at Miami-Dade Police headquarters Monday afternoon.
She said Aaron's mother "is traumatized right now seeing her husband and her kids and how they received the news, and that’s why she could not come here today. And so she has sent her apologies and her regrets for not being here today, as she promised to be here.”
The Crime Stoppers reward has been raised to $25,000 for the person that calls in the identity of the two suspects in the fatal shooting, Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Director Richard Masten said.
He had a message for the two suspects.
“There are over 10,000 police officers in South Florida, and as a former officer I can tell you that each and every one of them wants to be the one that takes you guys down. There’s nowhere to run, there’s nowhere to hide,” Masten said. “The best thing that you can do is turn yourselves in. In fact that’s about the only thing that you can do.”
He said extra people are on duty taking calls at 305-471-TIPS.
“We want these guys off the streets, these stone-cold killers. Let today be the day that we turn the tide in this community against that coward’s code called no snitching, that has no place in civilized society,” Masten said. “We are all responsible for one another. We are responsible for standing up against this type of violence and this type of cold-blooded murder.”
Aaron's relatives asked for the public’s help identifying the suspects in the case.
“Please help us find these perpetrators and call the tip line. Please do this for Aaron so there will be no innocent human beings or children [who are] like Aaron,” Pham said. “Please, please do it for Aaron.”
She described him as "a happy kid."
"We just can't see. We can't, the loss of Aaron is so painful. We just hope out there that someone can help find these men," Pham said.
Meanwhile, outside the salon, a makeshift memorial grows.
"This wound will not heal. It will be like an open wound. By capturing these men and mind justice for Aaron – the family can close and start healing," Pham said.
Hai Vu had served in the Marines and was shot in the left shoulder. Friends said Aaron would go to the nail salon after he got out of class at a nearby Christian school.
"To know that we have a Marine here and his family and his father was a Green Beret. It says something about his patriotism to this county, and I think this country needs to return that same sense of duty and honor to this family by speaking up, standing up and doing something," said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.
"Very sweet kid who would really go out of his way to make sure that everyone around him was happy, always spoke, a very kind kid," said Jerry Nelson, principal of the Northwest Christian Academy. "He's going to be sorely missed."
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