MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – Miami Gardens Police are appealing for the public’s help after a 16-year-old boy is shot in the back Tuesday night and the Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public schools says he is “praying for a full recovery.”

In an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, Andre Bartell, the cousin of the victim, said “I need to lay eyes on him in the hospital. I need to lay eyes on him. I will feel better after that.”

Bartell spoke out as he arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“I couldn’t explain it if I had the words too,” he said. “I think he is going to be alright. He is going to be alright. But he is on oxygen right now. This has got to stop. These shootings have got to stop. This has got to stop. We have to stop these shootings and we have to stay strong. We have to protect our youth.

That is so important in all this. We have to protect our youth at all times.”

Police are urging witnesses to come forward after they say the youngster whose initials are “J.H.” was shot at 9:45 Tuesday night on Northwest 42nd Avenue at 171st Street.

Police did not say if the victim lived in that area or was visiting friends or family members.

They say they do not have a motive or a suspect to release of a suspect but they say the suspect was in a gold SUV.

The victim was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

Police shut down Northwest 42nd Avenue for an extended period of time while crime scene investigators and deputies were seen looking for evidence, clues and witnesses.

Neighbors told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that police also spent some time at a home near the scene of the shooting.

A spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Public schools system said the victim was a public schools student but the school he attends was not being released.

MIami-Dade Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho tweeted “Praying for a full recovery for this teen, who at such a young age has become victim of an unacceptably violent act. Do not become desensitized to those headlines. Those are our children.”

Anyone with information about this case should call Miami-Gardens Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

There is a reward of up to $1,000 and callers will remain anonymous.