It’s Tuesday, July 19th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A baby has died after he was found unresponsive Monday at a daycare in Homestead, officials said.
Ten-month-old Tayvon was pronounced dead after he was airlifted to the hospital, police said. According to family members, he was dropped off at Lincoln Marti Child Care in Homestead in the morning. “He was fine this morning, so I don’t understand what could have happened. I don’t know," said Adrienne Harris, Tayvon's step-grandmother. Miami-Dade Police said a call came in for an unresponsive baby in a crib. At around 1:30 p.m., the family received a call that the child stopped breathing. One of the attendants at the center saw the baby unresponsive, but with his eyes open, as she was preparing bottles to feed him. The staff attempted CPR but were unsuccessful, the family was told.
No. 2 - The sentencing trial for the man who killed 17 people and wounded 17 others in the Parkland high school shooting more than four years ago began Monday with opening statements from the lead prosecutor and emotional testimony from some of the teachers and students who witnessed the shooting.
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Jurors are deciding whether Nikolas Cruz will be sentenced to death or get life in prison for the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three staff members dead. Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty in October to those murders and 17 counts of attempted murder, so the jurors will only decide his punishment. They must be unanimous for Cruz to get the death penalty — if at least one votes for life, that will be Cruz's sentence. Lead prosecutor Mike Satz highlighted the shooter's brutality as he stalked a three-story classroom building and fired his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle down hallways and into classrooms. The shooter sometimes walked back to wounded victims and killed them with a second volley of shots.
No. 3 - Nearly four and a half years after the tragic events that brought them together took place, the families of those killed in the Parkland school shooting are ready for the conclusion to the long process.
"It’s been four and a half years of waiting. It’s time to move this to a conclusion, whatever that may be,” said Tom Hoyer, whose 15-year-old son Luke was among the 14 students killed in the shooting. Those who lost a loved one in the shooting admit that some days are more difficult than others — and the start of the penalty phase begins the end they need. The wait has been painful for the families along with the fact Cruz's name and face will be on display - all while their loved ones are lost forever. Click here to hear their words in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.
No. 4 - Authorities are searching for a suspect who was caught on camera holding a taxi driver at gunpoint in Broward.
The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. back on July 4 when the driver picked up the man near the 7800 block of Southwest Eighth Street in North Lauderdale, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said. Once the passenger, "James," was in the taxi, the driver drove off and told him full payment was required before he could be transported, officials said. That's when the passenger became irate, demanded another cab, and pulled a gun on the driver, officials said. Detectives are trying to identify the gunman and are asking anyone with information to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
No. 5 - Hundreds of thousands of Miami-Dade County drivers with suspended licenses due to unpaid fines could be back on the road soon.
Miami-Dade County's Driver's License Suspension Task Force released its final report Monday after months of reviewing debt-based driver license suspensions. “With driver’s license suspensions, we turn every year, tens of thousands of people into criminals because we’re charging them with the offense only because they cannot pay," said Carlos Martinez, a Miami-Dade public defender The task force announced administrative and technical changes that are already underway to help the over 600,000 Miami-Dade drivers that currently have suspended licenses because of unpaid dues.
No. 6 - The Florida Highway Patrol is joining five other southern states in a new campaign to reduce high-speed crashes.
Their message is simple: slow down and buckle up. Starting Monday, FHP, along with other local agencies, will be on the lookout for reckless drivers. This comes after an increase in violent, sometimes deadly, crashes. Speeding has increased in the last couple of years, the agency said. “We’ve seen a troubling trend in speeding and aggressive driving, to also include highway road violence — shootings,” said FHP’s Major Robert Chandler. This week, drivers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee will see an increased trooper presence on highways. FHP says there are more violent crashes despite a lower number of crashes overall.