MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida International University’s football team boarded buses Friday for their game against Old Dominion on Saturday.
But the whole team didn’t make the trip. Missing running back Anthony Jones and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller. Both were injured in a drive-by shooting on Thursday in Opa-locka.
Jones and Miller are cousins as well as teammates. Their aunt, who did not wish to be identified in this report, said she has no idea why the two were shot.
“These are good boys. They go to school, they go to work, they play football, and they come and they hang out here. None are in any type of gang activity or nothing like that,” she said.
Jones, who was shot in the face and back, was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Miller, who was hit in the arm, was taken there by ambulance. He has since been released. His father said he wants answers.
“I want to know who did it, you know what I’m saying, that’s what I want to know,” said Mershawn’s father Emerson Miller.
“They all out here doing nothing, you know, two good kid, you know what I’m saying, that part hurt,” he added.
Miller’s mother, Kia Thomas, said she was relieved when she heard her son was going to be okay.
“It’s life-changing. That’s my baby, so I’m just grateful that he’s still here,” she said.
Miller and Jones were visiting a friend when someone in another car opened fire and sped away. Police counted more than a dozen spent bullet casings. There were also bullet holes in front of a house. The family said there was another victim in the shooting, their 11-year-old dog.
“We were looking for him once everything had calmed down. We were looking for him. We rode the blocks trying to find him. We couldn’t find ChuChu,” said the aunt.
They finally found him Fridays morning, hiding with a bullet wound to the abdominal area. He’s getting treatment.
“He’s like one of the children. The kids love him, we love him. He sleeps in the bed with us. He eats when we eat,” said the aunt.
Jones, who was raised with Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook, sat out last season with an injury. He returned to the lineup in a big way in FIU’s opener, starting at running back and scoring two touchdowns in last weekend’s 38-28 loss to Indiana. Miller is a redshirt freshman who appeared in the Indiana game as a reserve.