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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – People who live near NW 176 Terrace in Miami Gardens are angry and saddened by the violent death of a teenager apparently walking home from high school.
Miami Gardens Police Department detectives and investigators searched the entrance to an apartment complex for hours hoping to find clues to the murder of a high school student and get his killer off the streets.
Family members said 17-year-old Roderick Sweeting is the victim of a deadly shooting just a short walk from the apartment he shared with his mother and sister. They said he attended Miami Norland Senior High School.
“He’s a good kid,” said Derrick Smith, Sweeting’s Uncle. “Very quiet. A student in school. I never known him to have any problem.”
Family members said that’s what makes this shooting even more difficult to figure out.
Family and friends cried, hugged and broke down when they heard the news of Sweeting’s death. The young man’s backpack lay in the parking lot.
A family member told CBS 4 News that Sweeting was walking home from school with his brother. His brother was able to run away from the shooters.
One man said he heard the shots.
“I just heard gunshots,” said the witness, Kwame, who declined to give his last name. “Ten of them.”
Police said an officer in the area also heard the gunshots and hurried to investigate. Police said he discovered the teen dead.
No one is saying what led to the shooting but witnesses, residents and an area pastor believe they know what needs to happen now.
“They’re gonna have to break this no snitching policy,” said Pastor Eric Readon of New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church. “They gonna have to talk about it. somebody saw something. they’re gonna have to talk about it.”
“Stop the violence,” Kwame said. “Put the guns down.”
Those closest to Sweeting want someone – anyone – who knows about his murder to go to the police.
“Whoever did that they need to be caught,” Smith said.
If you have any information to assist police, contact Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
The string of youth violence in Miami continues. Another teen was shot and critically wounded in Little Havana later in the day.