A 15-year-old boy was killed and four men were injured in a shooting at an apartment complex in northwest Miami-Dade, police say.
The young victim has been identified as Joewuan Coles, a freshman at Miami Northwestern High School. According to police, Joewuan was not with the group and was not the intended target. He was simply standing nearby and became caught in the crossfire.
Coles' mother Nadia trying to make sense of her loss while signing “Mommy Loves You” on a shirt at the growing memorial for her son.
She, along with so many friends a family, are just beginning the mourning process for the teenaged victim shot and killed Monday night.
“This is my baby. Why, why would you take my baby?” asked Coles.
According to investigators, four men, aged 22, 23, 25 and 28, were in an open area of an apartment complex located at Northwest 75th Street and Northwest 16th Avenue late Monday night. Police say that around 9:30 p.m., two unknown men, armed with what may have been high powered assault rifles, approached them and opened fire.
The four men and the teen ran as they were peppered with bullets. The suspects took off in an unknown direction, police say.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews took four of the victims to Ryder Trauma Center, while friends took the fifth victim to North Shore Hospital.
Joewuan was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police are asking anyone with information about the tragedy to speak up.
"Once again, we have now a family that of course is hurt, is mourning the loss of their child." said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department. "As a community, I think we owe it to them to be able to come together and give the information to the police department in order to find these individuals responsible."
The condition of the four men is not immediately known.
This morning the community gathered around Coles for support with a prayer, "And right now we put this on you’re hands father."
After the prayer, Coles remembered her son, whose nickname was "Popcorn."
“The best dream come true I couldn’t ask for a better child,” Coles said. She said he was an aspiring athlete. At the center of his memorial sits his football trophy.
In basketball he wore number 23 after Michael Jordan. But the real reason he wanted to succeed was to take care of his mom.
“He told me, 'Mom when I make it you’re not going to eve have to worry again. I have you.'” Now, Coles said she’ll have him in her memory forever.
“I’m going to always love you Popcorn. Mommy loves you so much,” she said.
The Miami-Dade School Board says Coles was a freshman at Northwestern High School in Miami-Dade.
Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho Tweeted, in reference to the shooting, "Once again a murderous bullet steals the life of a child in our community. The cowardly code of silence is tantamount to complicity. #Enough"
And so many others are also talking about the silence that comes after these kinds of crimes. No one speaks up and the shooters go free.
At this point, police have no description of the shooters. Coles' family and police are asking for anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.