Men Accused In MLK Shooting Off The Hook

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two men accused in a shooting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day are off the hook.

Charges against 17-year-old Robert Britt and 18-year-old Gerrell Brownlee are being dropped after prosecutors said they did not feel they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The facts didn’t support any of the charges and the state did a very good job at acknowledging that and ultimately seeing that there was no strength in that particular case,” said Stephen Gutierrez, Brownlee’s defense attorney.

Back on January 24th, Britt and Brownlee were arrested on charges of attempted second-degree murder, according to Miami-Dade Police. Brownlee was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon while Britt was charged with possession of a firearm by a minor.

Brownlee smiled in court on Thursday as prosecutors announced they were dropping attempted murder charges.

“After careful review of all the evidence in the case, we have determined that there is insufficient evidence to file at this time. We are therefore announcing that case number F170451 there will be no action at this time and the investigation continues,” said Prosecutor Frank Ledee.

Following Brownlee’s arrest, a judge labeled him a ‘danger to society’ accusing him of opening fire during the celebration at MLK Memorial Park, 6000 NW 32nd Court, injuring those around him.

“There were eight people shot at a park celebrating a peaceful event. I am concerned he possesses a danger to the community based on the alleged actions,” said the judge back in January.

Investigators said the shooting was sparked by a gang fight just before 4 p.m as a celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. day was wrapping up at the park. Witnesses reported hearing gunfire just west of where food trucks and booths had been set up.

A total of eight people, ages 11 to 30, were hit by flying bullets.

Jerome Battle was one of the eight injured as a celebration at Martin Luther King Junior Memorial Park was ending. He told CBS4’s Carey Codd in a phone interview that he’s not bothered by the development.

“It doesn’t bother me that they dropped the charges,” Battle said Thursday. “I don’t care. I’m moving on with my life.”

The news comes almost one month to the day when Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez told the community that the two young teens were being charged with the crime, calling for an end to violence.

“We’re trying to stop young men in our community from picking up guns,” said Perez back on January 24th.

There was a significant police investigation to determine who carried out the crime after the incident.

Prosecutors said Brownlee will remain in custody because he has other open cases.

Gutierrez says he plans to fight those charges, as well.

“We’re going to maintain our innocence and the burden is on the state to prove it,” he said.

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