12 injured, 2 dead in funeral home shooting
Updated On: Mar 31 2012 11:53:08 PM EDT
Two people are dead, and 12 people, including a five-year-old girl, were injured in a shooting outside a North Miami funeral home Friday night.
As the funeral ceremony of a 22-year-old man was letting out at the Funeraria Latina Emanuel at 14990 W. Dixie Hwy., about 100 people filed into the parking lot. Then, witnesses said, a car drove by and fired shots into the crowd.
"We saw a white Impala with dark tinted windows riding along the street real slowly, and the car hit the corner and you just hear gunshots," a witness said. "Folks just started scattering from all outside the funeral home."
The woman was still too shaken and said she didn't want to be identified.
"It's like where are we safe?" she said. "It was as if a riot or something was going on because people are trying to flee from getting hit."
Pastor Ad Lenoir had just finished a service at the funeral home at the time of the shooting. He told Local 10, just as people were leaving a vehicle pulled up and started firing shots into the crowd. " People were going crazy, screaming, running. It was just chaos," he said.
One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, while a second died from his injuries at the hospital.
"The service was going on, nice, people was crying, talking, and suddenly someone pass by, start shooting," Jacques Leonet, one of the people attending the funeral, said. "It's more than crazy. They are destroying the community. No future. That's all that it's about."
The 5-year-old victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital Ryder Trauma Center.
"She was struck in the leg," Lenoir said. "It was very sad and painful to see a little child go through something that traumatic. It was very horrible." The girl was listed in stable condition at the hospital Saturday night.
Miami-Dade police spent hours on the scene talking to witnesses, and trying to figure out what happened. Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said, 'It's too early to tell what the motive may be. If anything the person they were viewing had anything to do with it."
Officials said a white, four-door vehicle may be involved in the shooting and ask anyone with information to contact law enforcement.
Local gang detectives said the shooting may have been in retaliation by the "One-Way Gang."
The funeral was for a man who died after falling several stories from an Aventura Mall parking garage, not from a shooting, as was originally reported. The man's death was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner, however detectives said the victim was running from a mall security officer when he jumped in an attempt to escape. He hit his head on the concrete and was brain dead. Detectives linked the victim to gang-related identity thefts that were happening at the mall.
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