MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) – The mothers of the victims killed at a Miami Gardens’ gas station continue to mourn the death of their children and are asking the public for help.
“I’m just begging you as a parent, as a grandparent because I have to take care of my grandson right now. If you know anything just come forward,” said Jacqueline Serra, mother of 24-year-old victim Kennia Duran.
Serra still hasn’t been able to bring herself to break the news to her six-year-old grandson that his mother was killed.
For these mothers, knowing their children were murdered in what police say appears to be an attempted carjacking has been extremely painful.
“I had to identify my daughter at the Medical Examiner’s office,” said Serra.
Janine Diaz, the mother of 23-year-old victim Julian Soler, celebrated her son’s birthday with him this month and can’t belief he will never have a child of his own.
“He’ll never get to be a parent; he’ll never get to be married; he’ll never get to enjoy everything everyone gets to enjoy in life,” said Diaz.
According to Miami Gardens’ police, Soler pulled his Ford Mustang in the gas station at NW 57th Avenue and 167th Street around 12:30 a.m. As he pumped gas, an older model Nissan Pathfinder pulled up on the other side of the pump, according to the station’s surveillance video.
As he got back into his car, he was confronted by a man from the Pathfinder pointing a gun at him. Another man can be seen on the video pointing a gun at Duran. As the two got out of the car, the gunmen opened fire. The video then shows the armed men getting back into the Pathfinder and speeding away.
Soler died on the pavement next to his car. Duran was rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center where she died.
“They didn’t deserve to be killed that way,” said Diaz.
Friends described Soler, a former semi-pro football player, as a ‘gentle giant’.
“That’s the best way to describe him. We used to have to get on him to hit people harder,” said Paul Cobb.
“They didn’t even take the car. What’s the point? Three worthless individuals took the life of someone who was worth something,” said Cobb.
“I’m speechless,” said Duran’s stepfather George Esquiro. “I just can’t believe someone would take another human being’s life.”
Duran’s family described her as a caring woman and a single mother of a young son.
“How do you tell a six year old that his mother died,” said Esquiro.
Miami Gardens police said they found the Pathfinder but it had been torched, most likely to destroy evidence which could lead them to the gunmen.
Police said they are searching for three, possibly four, subjects.
Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.