Miami Gardens officials are re-evaluating police strategies as violent crime continues to rise. NBC 6's Sharon Lawson speaks with Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert.
Police are looking for a suspect after a young girl was shot while sitting inside a house in Miami Gardens Wednesday night.
The shooting – the 10th in 11 days in the city – occurred at a house in the area of 193rd Street and Northwest 17th Avenue shortly before 10 p.m.
Ground units took the 11-year-old victim from the house in the residential neighborhood near Sun Life Stadium to a park in Miami Gardens. That’s where a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopter picked up the victim and took her to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
According to Miami Gardens Police spokesman Sgt. Bill Bamford, the suspect had been seen in a white Dodge Neon that was driving up and down Northwest 17th Avenue before the shooting.
At one point, he got out of the car and opened fire on the house, hitting the little girl. There were several adults in the home at the time of the shooting but no one else was injured, Bamford said.
Officers were conducting a grid search on the front lawn of the house, and an apparent bullet hole could be seen in a window.
It's unknown why the house was targeted.
"It's very disheartening," Bamford said. "This city deserves better. The city of Miami Gardens is a great place to work and live."
Bamford described the suspect as a male between 25-27, who was wearing a black skully, blue jeans and a T-shirt.
Miami Gardens’ mayor and police chief decided to deploy saturation patrols in response to the spate of shootings, after a man was shot outside his house Wednesday afternoon. He was wounded in the area of 175th Street and Northwest 14th Avenue by a teenage suspect at about 1:20 p.m., and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition, authorities said.
There was going to be an increased police presence in the city starting Wednesday night, Mayor Oliver Gilbert said.
He said something had to be done about all of the city’s violent crimes.
“They deserve, I deserve, the right, the ability to leave my house and feel safe. That’s fundamental to not just the Miami Gardens dream, but the Dade County dream, the Florida dream and the American Dream,” Gilbert said.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were 25 murders, 369 robberies and 413 motor vehicle thefts last year in the city. Compared to this year, crime was down 10.7 percent.
The recent rash in violent crime has the city re-evaluating the number of cops on the streets.
"Even with 240, ultimately the most important thing in deterring a crime is a community that's cooperating with you," Gilbert said.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
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