MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two people are dead, seven others wounded, in an early morning shooting in the City of Miami.
The shooting took place around 2 a.m. outside of an apartment complex on NW 12th Avenue and 65th Street in Liberty City.
Two men pulled up a in car across from the Liberty Square housing complex, stopped on the street and then started firing assault weapons at those standing outside, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
Police believe they may have been specifically targeting someone.
Miami Police Union President Javier Ortiz told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “From what I’m hearing on the street, this is possibly gang related. It appears to be gang related.”
“What concerns me is that this happened just three blocks from a Miami Police substation and my other concern is that there is no doubt in mind that this is going to be a retaliatory shooting because of this one and it puts everyone at a high state of alert. What are we going to do to stop that from happening again?”
“The only way to get this job done is help from the community,” he said. “Unfortunately a lot of people feel afraid to come forward because they feel they are going to be retaliated against. To understand that you just have to walk around the Pork and Beans project to totally understand that a lot of residents are saying they only see police when something bad happens. That is true unfortunately due to a lack of manpower we have on the street.”
There were at least 37 markers to indicate bullet casings on the street and on a staircase of the complex.
Tommy Williams said the apartment that he shares with his wife was riddled with bullets.
“I was on the couch when the bullets just woke me up,” he said. “Just as my wife came in the room the bullets came flying through and broke our sugar dish. I called my landlord right away and told him I need to move. I can’t take this. It needs to stop real soon. This is senseless.”
His wife Helene Bianco said, “It sounded like Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I came in through the kitchen and halfway through our living room I screamed there was gunshot.,I ducked behind the couch. I was scared.”
One man was pronounced dead on the scene. The mother of the victim was in agony moments after she watched her son’s body being wheeled away by the medical examiner.
The family of 29-year old Kevin Richardson said the shooting was not only criminal, it was cowardly.
“The person that shot my nephew is a coward. He didn’t bother anybody. He wasn’t a bad person. He left behind a six year old son,” said Bennae Robinson.
Click Here to watch CBS4’s Summer Knowles report.
A second critically injured person, identified by his family as 26-year old Nakeri Jackson, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he died.
“Do you know roughly how many shots were fired, we counted about 37 casings,” asked CBS4’s Summer Knowles.
“Approximately 50 to 60 shots were fired,” replied police spokeswoman Frederica Burden. “We are not sure at this point if it was a driveby or if someone walked up or if someone was on a bike, but again maybe later on, once we have information from the witnesses we interviewed, we will have a further comment on that.”
At least four of the injured were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital by Miami Fire Rescue. Others walked into the hospital on their own, Burden said.
“We have some that were driven by friends and some that were actually transported by fire and rescue,” she said.
Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll told reporters a large crowd was at the scene when rescue units arrived. He described an “emotional scene outside with family members crowding around.”
Wonda Jackson said her son, 27-year old Devone McNeal, was shot in the back. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
One nearby resident heard the multiple gunshots and said he thought it was fireworks.
“It sounded like a box full of M-80’s. Very powerful sound. It was deep. It wasn’t a small little .22 caliber. It was a deep, like a shotgun sound,” said James Brethauer.
“How do you feel about there being multiple shootings,” asked Knowles.
“Well, I’m applying for a grant to get bulletproof glass in my windows,” said Brethauer.
There is no motive in the shootings.
Richardson’s family is asking anyone with information on the shooting to come foreward.
“If someone has seen anything I wish you guys would come forward. He was somebody’s son, he was somebody’s father. If you know anything, come forward and say something because this could be your child,” said Robinson.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson released a statement saying she was “deeply concerned and saddened” by the shootings. “This violence must end,” she said. “The community must continue to collectively work to solve these issues. My sincere condolences to the families of the victims involved in this tragic event.”
Anyone with information can contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.
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