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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Police have arrested a 23-year-old man who they say shot a 10-year-old on the night of June 3rd while the boy was riding his bicycle on a basketball court near a playground filled with youngsters.
“I feel great they made an arrest because now I can come out and play,” said the victim, Jamari Tillman.
Tillman told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “It makes me feel good. I feel bad this happened but now I am ok. This was the first time I was getting shot.”
Tillman and his mother and grandmother spoke with D’Oench Tuesday afternoon as the accused gunman appeared in bond court.
Police Alfonso Oscar Rivera, who is known on the street as “Flop,” was with two other young males when Rivera opened fire on the crowd at the Liberty Square Recreation Center at 1415 N.W. 63rd St. at 8:37 p.m. on June 3rd.
Tillman had said before that he remembered being approached by three men in “black jackets or hoodies.” The bullet that was fired lodged in his left calf. It has still not been removed. His grandmother said doctors have not made a decision yet on whether, or when, they will remove that bullet.
Tillman said, “If anyone in the public knows anything, they should call Crime Stoppers or the police.”
Tillman’s mother, Tiffany, said, “I feel great about an arrest. I can sleep now at night that there has been an arrest. I feel bad my son got shot. The message here is please stop shooting. Let the kids play in our parks.”
Tillman’s grandmother, Sandra Fair, has produced a special sign that urges people to stop shooting bullets in areas where children play.
“I’m glad to get the news that they caught someone,” said Sandra Fair. “I am excited about that. I feel really bad about children being shot like this near playgrounds. They are shooting innocent people where kids are playing all the time. Thank God he was not seriously hurt. Thank God.”
She said, “If you know anything at all, please come forward because there are still two more people out there.”
According to a police report obtained by CBS4, the shooter’s target was a 17-year-old youngster identified as “G.B.” The report said the intended victim identified Rivera in a lineup. The report said Rivera admitted to being in the area but he said he was not involved in any shooting.
He had initially been charged with attempted second degree murder but during an appearance in bond court on Tuesday afternoon, the charges were upgraded to attempted first degree murder and he was held without bond.
Records show Rivera has been arrested before for possessing marijuana and cocaine, battery, petty theft, resisting officers with violence and possession of a controlled substance.
At bond court, Rivera told a Judge, “I’m 23 years old. I’m working to get disability. I have bullet fragments in my back and my jaw has been broken in a severe accident.’ He said he was not on medication and had no money to post bond. He asked if he could make a statement but his attorney told him not to talk.
The judge ordered Rivera to stay away from Jamari Tillman as well as the intended victim of the shooting. The Judge also ordered that Rivera not have any contact with either Tillman or intended victim and not get closer to them than 500 feet. The judge found that attempted first degree murder charges were appropriate.
The judge appointed Eliott Snyder as a public defender for Rivera.
Anyone with information that can help Miami Police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).