Detectives working the case of a 10-year-old boy shot while playing outside in Liberty City are now back to square one after a man charged in the shooting gets his name cleared.
At a court hearing Monday, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office dropped an attempted first-degree charge against Alfonso Rivera. Prosecutors said witnesses could not specifically identify Rivera as the person who pulled the trigger June 3, 2015.
"I knew I was innocent from the start," Rivera said. "I knew I'd get out some day."
The shooting injured Jamari Tillman, who was 10 at the time. Three people started shooting near a basketball court at Liberty Square Community Center and Jamari was caught in the crossfire as he played outside the building, police said. He survived the shooting and recovered from a gunshot wound in his leg.
Weeks after the gunfire, prosecutors charged Rivera, accusing him of trying to kill someone but striking Jamari instead. Exactly two years later, the State Attorney's Office said video evidence in the case contradicted the witness statements about the shooting. Prosecutors said they had no choice but to drop the charge against Rivera.
"Made me look like I was just a mad man — a monster," Rivera said. "A 10-year old boy? I got a daughter that's going on 7 years old. The whole case was fabricated. I was nowhere in the area."
Jamari's family members are devastated about the decision and are demanding justice.