NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Two days after the shooting of a teenage girl who was simply sitting on a park bench, top brass from police departments around South Florida and anti-violence activists joined forces in Liberty City Friday, calling on parents to step up and stop the violence.
Anti-violence activist Rev. Jerome Starling was furious when he learned 17-year-old Keimouria Gardner was hit in the head by a stray bullet during a drive by while sitting on a park bench at Soar Park in Northwest Miami-Dade.
It happened during daylight hours Wednesday.
Gardner is in critical condition. Two men were also shot and the shooters have not been caught.
“’We need the community to get concerned- the community is not concerned at all- they just talk a good game,” said Rev. Starling.
He says parents and other family members need to be the first line of defense from gun violence.
“These young people on these network sites with ak-47s, uzis, machine guns, guess what? They’re taking pictures in their own homes where their moms and dads, uncles and aunts pay rent at. We need parents, adults to monitor what these youth are doing,” demanded Rev. Starling.
Miami Assistant Police Chief Jorge Gomez pointed out reporting your own child or their friends may be in their best interest.
“Sometimes telling on your own kid you could be saving that kids life. You could be saving somebody else’s life,” he told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
Several law enforcement, religious and business leaders say they are working together to reduce violent crime. But they said without parent involvement, heavily armed young people will continue to make victims out of innocent kids.
In the shooting at Soar Park police say they are searching for as many as four shooters.
If you can help call Miami Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.