It’s Friday, July 8th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Nearly a month after a young woman was left critically injured after she was found shot inside her car in southwest Miami-Dade, police and family members are still searching for whoever is responsible.
Who shot 21-year-old Ashley Rodriguez back on June 13 and why remains a mystery that Miami-Dade Police are trying to solve. Officers were out Thursday in the Homestead neighborhood where she was found, passing out flyers and going door-to-door in the hopes that someone saw something or knows something.
"My daughter is a 21-year-old FIU student, psychology major, she’s a good girl, hard working, very responsible, she does not deserve this," mother Sadia Rodriguez said. Police said when they found Rodriguez, she'd been shot in the back of the head and was barely breathing.
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No. 2 - Authorities are searching for a hit-and-run driver who was caught on camera fatally hitting a man before fleeing the scene in Lauderhill last month.
The incident happened around 10:40 p.m. on June 20 in the 1200 block of Northwest 31st Avenue. Lauderhill Police officials said the victim, 71-year-old Ira Joe Anderson, was crossing the roadway when he was struck by a 2018 to 2022 black four-door Dodge Ram pickup truck. Surveillance footage released by police Thursday showed the brutal impact, which tossed Anderson about 100 feet from where he was struck. The driver — described as a Black woman with short blonde hair — and a passenger both appear to jump out to check on Anderson. She then appears to drive away, and the passenger leaves on foot.
No. 3 - One man was hospitalized and dozens of animals were killed as firefighters battled a massive, three-alarm fire Thursday at a flea market in northwest Miami-Dade.
Chopper 6 showed flames and dark smoke billowing from the Tropicana Flea Market, located near 3755 Northwest 30th Avenue. Firefighters arrived to find a tent engulfed in flames, officials said. The fire extended to a warehouse with a pet shop inside, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. Dozens of animals died in the fire, but crews were able to save about two dozen. One man was sent to the hospital after suffering burns all over his body, officials said.
No. 4 - Some Floridians would probably argue these are the Gods punishing these New York transplants for moving down here. Twice in less than a year, Janet and Bruce Bleier have had an iguana appear inside their toilet bowl after likely getting in through its plumbing.
When the iguana suddenly appeared inside the bowl of their Hollywood home, Janet and Bruce already knew what to do. "It was Godzilla staring back at me, this was Godzilla the sequel," said Janet Bleier. "They liked to play dead as we learned from the first time, so I just closed the lid and walked out." Bleier was vacuuming the house Tuesday when she spotted the reptile. She quickly called her husband, who came running. Click here for what happened next in a report from NBC 6's Cristian Benavides.
No. 5 - The grades are in, and Broward County Public Schools retained its "B" grade, missing an "A" by one percentage point, while Miami-Dade celebrated another "A."
The Florida Department of Education released its school district grades Thursday. Individual schools are graded on a variety of factors, including standardized test scores, graduation rates, and industry certifications earned. In Broward, 45% of schools received an A, while 79% of schools received an A, B, or C grade. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Jose Dotres announced the district is leading the state in school performance. In Miami-Dade, 54% of the schools are rated A, and nearly all of them are rated A, B or C.
No. 6 - Sarika Badgamia and her husband, Girish Agarwal, say their son knew exactly how he wanted to celebrate his 10th birthday.
“He didn’t ask for anything,” Badgamia said. “He wanted to spend time with the family.” So in April, the Parkland family booked an international getaway that involved flying from Miami to Chicago and then to Greece, where they would board a cruise. On the morning of June 2, the family headed to Miami International Airport and checked in for their American Airlines flight, the first leg of their trip. The family said when they arrived at the departure gate, they were told to wait for their names to be called. That’s when they got worried and started asking questions to the gate attendants, they said. The plane eventually left without them so they went to another area at the airport to try to figure out their options, they said. Click here for what took place next in a report from NBC 6 consumer investigator Alina Machado.