South Florida

Community Holds Vigil for Teen Shot Dead in Homestead

Families, police searching for answers after two teens gunned down

Police and family members are searching for answers after two South Florida teens were killed in separate shootings over the weekend.

The most recent shooting happened just after 5 p.m. Sunday at a park in Homestead along Southwest 14th Avenue. Miami-Dade Police say 17-year-old Jatavious Williams was gunned down by three men.

The community held a vigil for Jatavious on Tuesday. His girlfriend, Rakeyvia Mitchell, who is pregnant, said Jatavious' death is "a hard pill to swallow."

Police are searching to identify three suspects possibly involved in the killing.

Jataviouswi, who once played football for Miami Killian Senior High, was killed near the same track where he practiced to be a football player.

"It's just getting sickening, it’s getting tiresome, it’s time for it to stop," said his former coach, Tip Williams.

Johnson coached Jatavious, or Etty as his friends called him, both on and off the field. He said he became a father figure to the teen after Williams' own father was incarcerated.

"His father reached out to me and basically put his trust in me to make sure Etty gets out of the street life and becomes successful, that’s another reason why it’s tearing me down because I feel like I failed him," Johnson said.

Friends say Jatavious had a near-death experience once before this past June, when he was shot in the back while walking through a different area of Homestead.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he actually should’ve been training with me that day so I spoke to him on that," Johnson said.

In the other shooting, 17-year-old Danny Alvarez was gunned down near his Little Havana home early Saturday morning. His distraught mother told NBC 6 in Spanish that the violence needs to stop.

The gunmen in both cases are still on the loose. Anyone with information on either shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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