MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) — It’s been more than three and half years since the murder of a popular Broward Transit bus driver and now there’s a reward of up to $5,000 in the case.
The loved ones of 49-year-old Michael Garland are also speaking out, asking for the public’s help.
“You’re talking about a guy who did not deserve this,” said the victim’s sister Eugenia. “He was against violence and would never do anything confrontational. Why would you want to hurt him? What had he done to you?”
She said she cherished her brother.
“My brother Michael Anthony Garland was a terrific kid,” said his sister. “From the moment he was a child, he was always approachable, always helpful. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, a listening ear. He was a bus driver with Broward County transit and his passengers loved him.”
It was around 8 p.m. on the night of September 16th of 2008 when Garland went jogging near Northwest 152nd Street and 18th Avenue in Miami Gardens.
Miami-Dade Police homicide detective Miguel Dominguez said police believe his killers were watching from a basketball court near Rainbow Park Elementary School.
“One of the suspects brandished a handgun at which point Michael Garland attempted to gain some distance between the assailant and himself in order to confuse the situation and he crossed to the south side of the street,” said Dominguez. “And in the process, one of the assailants shot him in the back.”
Garland, the victim of an apparent robbery attempt, collapsed. He was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital but did not survive.
“You can’t comprehend this,” said Eugenia Garland. “We had just talked and no one is comprehending this.”
She prays someone will come forward.
“It doesn’t have to come into your home before you want to take any action towards this. It has to stop and the pain will never end. But if it could save someone else from this, I would never want anyone else to experience this.”
Dominguez said Garland came from a loving family and they have no reason to believe he had any enemies.
Detective Dominguez said if you can help, call the Miami-Dade Police homicide bureau at (305) 471-2400 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
Michael Garland’s story is the latest chapter in CBS4’s “Fugitive Files,” which is broadcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. and will also be featured in an upcoming “Crime Stoppers Miami” program which is broadcast at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights on our sister station, MYTV 33.