MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Actor, rapper, and football coach Luther Campbell says he is heartbroken by the loss of the beloved head football coach at Miami Senior High School, Corey Smith.
“Corey was just the pillar of the community,” said Campbell. “I can’t believe he is gone. He really cared about helping kids and people in this community. Coach prey was a great guy and a mentor to kids. He started out as a coach at Gwen Cherry Park and was an architect of that program coming into existence. He has coached so many kids from Dalvin Cook to T.Y. Hilton and not only was he a coach, he was a community guy who embraced football and helped kids extend their career outside the park and right into college.”
Campbell said “There’s a number of coaches from all around the country who know him and respect him. He was a great guy. I just got off the phone with him 2 days ago talking with him and about different nuances that we are going through with the Pandemic.”
Campbell has been the Associate head football coach at Miami Edison Senior High School for the past 3 years and has coached high school football for more than 15 years and founded the youth program for the Liberty Club Optimist Club three decades ago and met Corey Smith then, noting that Gwen Cherry was a top rival of the Liberty City Optimist Club.
He said Smith at Miami Senior High school “embraced the challenge because he had such a level of respect from the community and it helped him get kids over there to play for him and when they played for him they played at such a high level. You know he was a park coach like me and he knew the difficulty of getting kids from one place to another and mentoring them and helping them become better persons than anything.”
Campbell spoke with CBS4’S Peter D’Oench as Miami-Dade police spent a second day at the home at N.W. 21st Ave. and 97th St. after they executed a search warrant, looking for evidence and leads in the death of Smith.
Miami-Dade police were called to the home at 9:36 a.m. on Monday after a call to 911 on Monday and found Smith with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta confirmed to CBS4 that a 15-year-old family friend was the only other person in the home at the time. The teen, who was not identified by police, told authorities he was doing homework and heard gunshots.
Campbell said, “I have heard so many stories going around the neighborhood. I wouldn’t want to put any justification on any of those stories. I am pretty sure that Dade County authorities will do a thorough investigation and find the person responsible and bring that person to justice.”
A source told “The Miami Herald” that Smith’s brother Lamar Alexander was one of four people killed in a shootout with police in Miramar on December 5th of last year after the robbery of a jewelry store and a UPS truck was hijacked. Police said Alexander and his accomplice Ronnie Hill robbed the store. The shootout also took the Iives of UPS driver Frank Ordonez and a civilian.
Alexander’s 15-year-old son was the teenager who was reportedly the only other person in the home with Smith.
Miami-Dade Police say no one has been arrested.
They spent all day at the home after executing a search warrant and curiously by mid-afternoon had sealed it off again Tuesday afternoon with yellow crime scene tape.
Anyone with information that can help police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305 471-TIPS (8477).
On Tuesday afternoon, Miami-Dade Police detectives passed out a new flyer saying there is a reward of up to $5,000 in the case.