Mayor Makes Plea For Public's Help in Teens' Shooting Deaths

Police say Keimouria Gardner, 17, was sitting on a bench when she was struck by a stray bullet.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos. A. Gimenez on Tuesday called on the public for help in locating the culprits behind the shooting deaths of Keimouria Gardner and Herchel Belizaire last week in Soar Park.

“We must come together to make our community safer. Only joining together, can we stop these types of senseless tragedies from happening again” said Mayor Gimenez. “No one in our community should go through the grief that comes from a tragedy like this.”

Gardner, 17, died of her injuries on Friday, after she was hit by a stray bullet on March 19 while sitting on a park bench. She was one of three people shot at Soar Park Teen Center at 120 NW 83rd Street, according to Miami-Dade Police. Police said she was an innocent bystander in the shooting.

One of two male victims, Herchel Belizaire, has also died, while 22-year-old Willie Williamson has been released from the hospital.

Gardner's stepmother said earlier this week that the shooting still feels "surreal."

"We see it on the news, we read about it, but we never think it will happen so close to home, and here we are," the woman, who identified herself as Gina, said.

It is unclear if the other victims were standing in the park or in a parked car when the shooting occurred, police said.

No other information was immediately available. Anyone who may be able to help police in the investigation are urge to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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