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Family And Friends Mourn Loss Of Student Who Died In Apparent Murder-Suicide

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Peter D'Oench is a reporter for CBS4 News. He came to CBS4 from ...
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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) –A grieving mother who lost two teenage sons in a murder-suicide last weekend is speaking out, saying she wonders how her 14-year-old son was able to get his hands of a gun and shoot and kill his 16-year-old brother.

“I don’t know how he got the gun,” said Saintamise Blanc. Witnesses said her 14-year-old son Steven

Odeus shot and killed his older brother, 16-year-old Stanley Blanc, late Sunday night and then allegedly took his own life.

Blanc told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench, “Nobody has a gun in our house. Nobody has a gun in this house. I don’t know if he found the gun outside. I don’t know where he found the gun.”

It happened outside their apartment at the New Haven Gardens Housing complex on Northeast 2nd Ave. at 71st Street.

Blanc told D’Oench, “I loved all of my sons. Now I lost two of my sons. My sons loved me. I loved them. I love my whole family.”

“I thought everything was going to be okay after they argued about their clothing that they shared,” she said. “After they fought everything was okay. My son came downstairs and said they were friends. And then Stanley got shot. I don’t know how. They were very close, very close together.They shared everything.”

The incident happened right in front of their older brother, 18-year-old Mark Blanc.

“It wasn’t just over clothes,” he said. “This was building up for a long time. And it just got out of control.  It was one of his friends who he got the gun from. I know that for a fact. I don’t know who it was. But he doesn’t own a gun. A 14-year-old kid doesn’t own a gun.”

“My brothers meant the world to me,” he said. “We had our differences. But we were always together through thick and thin. I just wish I could have stopped it. It happened right in my face. All I can say is love each other. Don’t sweat the small things. Small things can be replaced.”

Two makeshift memorials with stuffed animals, notes and candles have been set up at the New Haven Gardens housing complex where the shooting happened late Sunday night.

Raneisha Jones, who said she had been Stanley Blanc’s girlfriend for the past two years, sat at one of the memorials and cried, saying, “I don’t know how this happened. Over some petty stuff. Oh My God. Why!”

Meanwhile, middle school students in El Portal are grieving the loss of Steven Odeus.

Officials said the shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. Sunday.

News of the brothers’ deaths spread quickly among students, parents and teachers after the holiday weekend at Horace Mann Middle School Tuesday where Steven was an 8th grader ready for graduation.

Mark Blanc says he won’t forget what happened.

“Right before my eyes my brother just shot my other brother. It started as a small petty argument about clothes but again they had been fighting for a while about different things. This time it escalated into a fight,” said Blanc. “I wish I could have done something to stop it. I blame myself.”

“I am lost for words, and it was over some clothes,” said Jack Israel, a Miami resident.

Parents, like Rose Mirvil, wonder how the 14-year-old had access to a gun.

“To have kids at that age, to be able to put their hand on a gun and kill another brother, another person, is unbelievable,” said Mirvil. “That could be my kid and that kid could come here with a gun.”

“In that case they need more security, you know. They’ve got to at least check the kids when they are going in,” said Lucine Simon, a parent at the school.

But 8th grader Emanuel Flores, who says he knew Steven and was surprised by what happened, doesn’t feel more security is the solution—but more vigilance instead.

“At this point anything can happen in school and we don’t know what would happen, but that’s why we should know our friends better and pay close attention to them to so see if they are going through troubles or depressed so we can tell someone—tell an adult or someone who can help,” said Flores.

Grief counselors are on-hand at the school in case any students are in-need.

Miami Police are not sure how the 14-year-old brother got the gun or to whom it was registered.

While witnesses including Mark Blanc say Steve Odeus took his own life, Miami Police say more testing is needed by the

Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office to confirm that.

Police say those tests could take a few weeks.

They also say they have taken possession of a weapon that may be connected to the case.

Police are urging witnesses and anyone with information about this case to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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