Boy, 13, Shot in SW Miami-Dade in Dec. Release Postponed

A 13-year-old boy who was shot in a southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood over winter break in December is recovering, but his release from the hospital has been postponed.

Eric Watson Jr. was airlifted to Nicklaus Children's Hospital on Monday, Dec. 28 after he was shot three times in the torso while standing outside his grandmother's house near Southwest 263rd Street and 136th Avenue.

The shooter remains on the loose.

Watson is recovering and was expected to be sent home Tuesday, but hospital officials have postponed the teen's release.

Watson's family has never left his side during his recovery. They say he dreams of becoming a basketball player or a sports commentator when he grows up.

"He hasn't even begun to live. He's just a baby," neighbor Weniford Kemp said.

Watson was not the only young victim of gun violence in that neighborhood in December. Barely a day earlier, 7-year-old Amiere Castro was killed in a drive-by shooting, also in southwest Miami-Dade, as he sat in his aunt's house playing with toys.

Three suspects are in custody in connection with Castro's death.

The shootings of Watson and Castro sparked outrage both within the community and with law enforcement.

"I'm just thankful that my child is still alive because there's a mother out there whose baby did not make it," Watson's mother, Latoya Moreland, told NBC 6. "We are grieving for her."

Watson is expected to make a full recovery, doctors say.

Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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