It’s Thursday, July 21st – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Police are investigating a shooting in a northwest Miami neighborhood that killed the niece of a South Florida rapper and sent two people to the hospital early Wednesday.
Officers arrived at the scene just after midnight in the 1300 block of Northwest 62nd Lane, where officers found a female with a gunshot wound and pronounced her dead at the scene. Police identified her as 17-year-old Toni Chester, who is also known as Baby Suga and the niece of South Florida rapper Trina. Two other victims, identified as men in their mid-20s, were brought to Jackson Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds and are both listed in stable condition. Footage from the scene showed a Mercedes SUV with multiple bullet holes in its side and the back window shot out.
No. 2 - Students who were wounded and witnessed classmates gunned down in the Parkland school shooting were the first to testify Wednesday at the gunman's sentencing trial.
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Ashley Baez graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2020 but testified that she was in band class the day of the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting that left 17 people dead and 17 injured, including Baez. Baez said she left class to use the bathroom and decided to walk to the nearby freshman building. As she was walking to the bathroom, Baez said she encountered someone who looked "freaked out" and went running up some stairs. Teacher Juletta Matlock testified Wednesday that she initially thought the shooting was a drill that staff had been told to expect, but the continuing gunfire quickly made her think otherwise.
No. 3 - Authorities are searching for a suspect who was caught on camera shooting a person in a car and then trying to cover it up by crashing the car outside a motel in Oakland Park.
The incident happened the afternoon of June 1 outside a Days Inn at 1595 W. Oakland Park Boulevard. Broward Sheriff's Office officials said deputies initially responded to a call of a crash with injuries and found a silver Chevy Malibu crashed into a white shipping container in the motel's parking lot. But when deputies arrived it was discovered the driver had been shot. And when detectives reviewed surveillance cameras they realized what had happened. Investigators are trying to identify the gunman and are asking anyone with information to call BSO at 954-321-4215.
No. 4 - Air Force veteran Dwain Watts says he still has trouble using his hand since he was injured during an encounter with Hollywood Police officers in 2019.
“When I thought he was going to handcuff me, he cupped his hand, his arm, behind mine, dragged me around the front of the truck and then body slammed me on the ground,” Watts said during an exclusive interview with NBC 6 Investigators. “After I was on the ground, he deliberately kneed me in the back of my neck with such force that it really did some nerve damage on my neck,” he added. NBC 6 reviewed photos taken at the emergency room moments after Watts was arrested. They show bruises and cuts in one of his shoulders and a small cut in his head. Click here to find out why he said he was beating after breaking into his own car in a report from NBC 6 investigator Willard Shepard.
No. 5 - In a stunning flip-flop, the Miami-Dade County School Board reversed its earlier decision to approve sexual education textbooks for middle and high school students.
The decision came after a long meeting in which the vast majority of public speakers favored using the books, but the board voted 5 to 4 topside with conservative groups who had objected to the content in the books. The decision means the school year will likely start without reproductive health being taught in classrooms, which is required by state law. One school board member, Christi Fraga, switched her position on the books, first voting to approve them weeks ago but today voting against them.
No. 6 - U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried are facing off in the "Decision 2022: Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Debate" Thursday.
The hour-long debate is presented by NBC 6 and Telemundo 51, and airs at 7 p.m. on both channels, both stations’ multiple digital platforms and select NBC and Telemundo stations across Florida. The debate will be moderated by bilingual journalists NBC 6 Anchor Jackie Nespral and Telemundo 51 Senior Political Reporter Marilys Llanos. Crist and Fried are in a competitive primary for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who's running for a second term. Florida's Primary is taking place on August 23.