As More Shootings on I-95 Remain Unsolved, Families of Victims Push for More Surveillance

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This year there have been a number of shootings with a couple of things in common – they happen on I-95 and the shooter is able to escape with the case remaining unsolved.

NBC6 took a closer look at the growing problem and one thing that could help police solve the crimes.

Ten months after her daughter's death, SheilLa Nunez keeps revisiting the spot where her daughter Melissa Gonzalez was killed by a stray bullet back in January. 

“Terrible day, terrible crime," said Sheilla Nunez, mother of Melissa Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez was an FIU graduate with ambitious dreams of being a lawyer, but those hopes vanished when she was killed while driving with her boyfriend along I-95 near Northwest 79th Street. Police say they were not the intended target. 

“We don’t have any life. I can’t sleep. I can’t work. All the time she’s in my mind," said Nunez. 

Nunez has been destroyed since her daughter's death, but it's not the only case of a shooting on the busy interstate. 

According to Florida Highway Patrol, shootings, aggressive driving and road rage incidents involving a firearm on I-95 have gone up 40 percent-- from 28 incidents from August 2019 to 40 in August of this year. 

Recently on August 12th there was an incident on I-95 

Southbound and Hollywood Boulevard in which a Mercedez Benz was accused of shooting at the occupants of a Honda. A month later, on September 15th, there was another shooting linked to road rage on I-95 and Hallandale Beach Boulevard. 

Florida Highway Patrol says the layout of the interstate in South Florida provides somes challenges for them. 

“Sometimes when the shoulders are narrow, it’s a little bit difficult for the troopers to stop. We’re trying our best to patrol up and down obviously all the time," said Lieutenant Yanko Reyes with Florida Highway Patrol. 

Melissa's mother is turning her pain into action pushing for more cameras along I-95 in an effort to prevent these types of crimes. 

“I don’t know why that if we have this problem in this area what happens with all the cameras? Why don’t we have any cameras? If they have cameras on I95 what is the reason that the cameras are never recording?," said Nunez. 

Detective Juan Segovia has been looking into every detail of Melissa's case, but it hasn't been easy so far. 

"The Melissa Gonzalez case is a very very challenging and a very complex case. At this time, we're still waiting for a lot of technical stuff. Because we don't have that direct eye witness, because we don't have the camera footage that can break this case, we have to rely on technology now," said Detective Segovia.

Police say they only have an image of a dark colored vehicle caught on camera from a nearby business, but they would welcome more official cameras.  

"I know on I-95, especially on the strip where we investigated the Melissa Gonzalez case, there are cameras, but they don't record. They are a live feed so that the Department of Transportation can monitor traffic accidents and so on, but they don't record," said Detective Segovia, "I wish there was recording equipment on I-95 because it would help us as investigators tremendously."

The Florida Department of Transportation declined our requests for interviews on the topic, so we asked an attorney about the intricacies behind such an enterprise of cameras along I-95. 

"Cameras require laws first. The first thing you need to do is get the funding and get the laws changed to provide for that. Unfortunately the city doesn't have a lot of say in that because these are state highways and they are also federal highways. They can request funding from Congress but we as the people need to contact our local representatives so that they can bring this to the attention of these things to the other legislators and to the Department of Transportation," said Albert Quirantes, a criminal defense attorney in Miami.

With the absence of cameras, police and Melissa's family continue to beg the community for tips or information so they can find whoever was responsible for her death. 

“It’s the most difficult in the life of a mother," said Nunez. 

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