MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man and woman shot an elderly foster mother in southwest Miami-Dade early Friday morning and took off with two children who were under her care.
Neighbors told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench they were outraged.
“My reaction is that I have kids and I don’t like that,” said an angry neighbor Brina Smith. “That’s sad. That hurts me. That hurts my heart. We as a community need to stick together and speak out. The children belong to the foster parents until you go to the state and get your damn child you don’t do that.”
Neighbor Terreik Mayberry said, “I am not well with happened. You let the foster parents take care of the children. I think it is not right. It is not right. You do that and you should turn yourself in.”
Jennell Scott, who knows the foster mother, said, “It is terrible. I feel sorry about what happened. It is very hurtful and I feel sorry for her.”
Another neighbor, who did not want to show his face, told D’Oench, “It hits really close to home. It is alarming and it is scary. It is good that she is going to make it. She is a very nice lady and she is very kind to the kids. She takes care of about 5 or 6 of them. I speak with her every day. This is sad.”
The shooting took place around 5 a.m. at home along Jackson Street.
Investigators believe Candi Johnson, 34, and an unidentified male went into the home, shot the caregiver, and left with Johnson’s two children – a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy.
The 77-year-old foster parent was taken to Jackson South hospital where she was listed as stable.
It’s not clear why she was shot.
Sgt. Carlos Rosario, a spokesman for Miami-Dade Police, said, “Right now this is a question that we are trying to figure out. Detectives are working to put the pieces of this puzzle together.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement joined the investigation. They believed Johnson, her companion, and the two children were driving around in a four-door white sedan. Miami-Dade police put out a “be on the lookout” alert for a white 2018 Volvo, license plate number “JSR X41.”
Late Friday morning, police located Johnson and the children at NW 87th Street and 11th Avenue. The children were safe, Johnson will face charges. Her male companion is still on the run.
Miami-Dade Police do not have a description to release of him or his name.
According to court records, Johnson was arrested in 2015 for child neglect but the charge was later dropped.
Records show she was also arrested in 2006 fo child abuse and fleeing and eluding police.
Late Friday afternoon, Miami-Dade police provided new information.
They say the foster mother and her companion arrived at the house and demanded custody of the children.
The foster mother refused to comply and a struggle followed. The foster mother was shot several times. The children are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.
The Department of Children and Families released the following statement on Friday afternoon: “The horrific attack on this foster mother is unfathomable. We have been in contact with the victim’s family and will continue to provide support as she recovers. All children involved in this incident are safe. DCF will continue to support the Miami-Dade Police Department in their criminal investigation.”