MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A pastor is speaking out after her 17-year-old grandson is shot in a drive-by, expressing concern about other shootings this summer that have injured and claimed other victims.
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho also expressed concern in a tweet, saying this was the fourth reported young victim of a shooting this summer break.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4’S Peter D’OENCH, Pastor Belinda Williams says “It could have taken his life like it has with so many young men in our society. I feel awful and I am concerned about young people, especially African American boys who are out there taking each others’ lives. I feel we have a crisis at this time in this country, in our neighborhoods and in our schools that needs to be addressed.”
“I thank God that he survived,” she said. “I am a very religious person and I believe God is a waymaker. I believe he is a protector. And I thank God that my grandson is still here.”
She asked that CBS4 not identify her grandson or show his photo and said that both her grandson and his mother are worried about retaliation and are staying at another location than their home for now.
Miami-Dade Police say the youngster was with a group outside a home on n.w. 45th St. at N.W. 30TH Ave. around 8:40 Monday night when a car drove by and the teen was shot. Police are looking for a blue Hyundai Elantra that took off eastbound on N.W. 45th St.
“I was told they were standing around and that a car did circle the block one time and it did come back and they let the window and started firing. They started shooting. I believe they scattered and they ran for their lives,” she said. “The only thing I know is that they are looking for that car.”
Miami-Dade Police do not have a motive and have not released a description of the shooter or his accomplice or accomplices.
Williams says her grandson was shot in the left leg and was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital and released.
Carvalho tweeted, “A 17-year-old rushed to a trauma center after bullets pierce his body. This is the fourth reported young victim of a shooting so far this summer break. We must not normalize this kind of violence by letting our outrage subside. (Hashtag) See something, say something.”
Williams said, “If you know something, say something. It is me today but it could be your family tomorrow. This is not a single incident. We are all one community, one body. Say something.”
Williams said she has been a pastor for three years but has been ministering to people for 20 years in Miami-Dade. She said she has five grandchildren.
Anyone with information that can help Miami-Dade Police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (35) 471-TIPS (8477).
There’s a reward of up to $1,000 and all callers will remain anonymous.