MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Jamal Pieze could have been killed Saturday after family says he was shot seven times.
“He’s scared, he’s in a lot of pain but he thanks god that he’s alive because this could have gone a lot worse,” said Alicia Jackson, the victims aunt.
Somehow, the 16-year-old survived.
“Grateful he’s alive right now,” said Joe Pieze, Jamal’s father.
The Miami Jackson High School football player was gunned down in Allapatah, less than a block from the school’s campus.
“A huge athlete we just hope that he recoups so that he can get back to a normal life,” said Jackson. “It’s the holidays its Christmas and you know family is the most important thing to us so that’s our biggest prayer right now.”
Police say the 10th grader was walking at NW 17th Avenue and 39th Street just before 3 p.m. when two kids, hiding their faces in hoodies, started to shoot at Pieze.
As he ran, they chased him down and kept firing.
“We know that probably 30 to 40 rounds were fired so he’s very very lucky to be alive today,” said Rene Pimentel of the Miami Police Department.
At least one stray bullet shattered through the window of a passing car.
Glass flew into the driver’s eye and he was taken to the hospital.
Relatives rushed a wounded Pieze to the emergency room where doctors said they couldn’t believe he was still breathing.
“He has a leg fracture, a tiny skull fracture, he was hit in the hip and his arm was also abraised,” said Jackson.
“He’s in a lot of pain but he’s doing better,” said Pieze’s father. “Talking. Moving. He’s just lying back right now.”
Piezes’ dad is still processing what happened and tells CBS4 his son transferred from Everglades High to Miami Jackson just a few weeks ago.
The family can’t figure out why he was targeted.
“He just doesn’t know why this kind of thing would happen,” said Jackson. “When he was not doing anything he wasn’t with anybody he was just walking to the store.”
Relatives say they feel blessed Pieze will be around to celebrate Christmas and pray the constant gun violence will end.
“What’s behind the real meaning of Christmas and the holiday season. It’s about family, it’s about life. That kind of thing you can’t buy in a store, you can’t get it back once it’s gone. I just don’t know why people don’t value life anymore,” said Jackson.
Police still looking for two shooters and are asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-TIPS.