MIAMI — Miami city officials are promising beefed up policing in Liberty City after a mass shooting in the neighborhood early Tuesday morning left two persons dead and at least seven wounded.
Nakeri Jackson, 26, and Kevin Richardson, 30, died in a hail of bullets in the shooting in front of an apartment building at 6511 NW 12th Ave. around 2:30 a.m. Seven others were wounded, according to Miami Police Public Information Officer Frederica Burden.
Police marked off the entry points of some 80 bullets which some reports said were fired by two shooters wielding assault weapons.
No motive was determined and no arrests were made as of Wednesday. Burden said only that a “late night hangout turns tragic.”
“It’s very early in our investigation,” Burden said Tuesday morning. “I’m not sure how it occurred. We’re investigating it now. I don’t know if they were all outside standing, some in a car, some not in a car. I don’t know that yet.”
Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said at the scene that officials plan to reassess their strategy against crime. “We are going to work with our law enforcement partners to make it better,” he said.
A police official said that recently six more officers and a canine unit had been assigned to the neighborhood. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, who represents the area in County Hall, said she was “deeply concerned and saddened” by the shooting.
“On the eve of the celebration of our nation’s independence, there are liberties being threatened by violence which affects the lives of our most vulnerable residents, our children and seniors,” Edmonson said in a statement Tuesday. “This violence must end. The community must continue to collectively work to solve these issues.”
Organizers of a previously scheduled ceremony slated for Tuesday to mark the eighth anniversary of the death of Sherdavia Jenkins immediately seized on the shooting as further reason for the community to focus on gun violence.
The then 9-year-old child was struck and killed by a stray bullet on July 1, 2006. Another child, Rickia Isaac, was 5 when she was also fatally shot on Jan. 20, 1997, during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
“No human behavior is without a cause. Dr. Marti Luther King Jr. saw clearly that our nation is afflicted by a culture of violence as the primary way to settle differences and to assert power. The perpetrators of this latest crime are products of that culture, as is our very government,” said Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, chief organizer of the event to remember Sherdavia.
“Your awareness of this event and your solidarity with our resolve to save our children from senseless violence is as important as if you were here,” Tinnie said.
Tinnie and his supporters picked Sherdavia as a poster child of the violence in the Liberty City community. They created the Sherdavia Jenkins Peace Park and a memorial in her honor which is located at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Northwest 62nd Street) and Northwest 12th Avenue, a short distance from the mass shooting on Tuesday morning.
The memorial ceremony is slated for 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, at the park. Meanwhile, another community-based organization dealing with violence will hold a Prayer Brunch at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 28. The two-year-old Restore Joy & Trust (RJT) Foundation, which offers support to families of murdered children, will host the gathering in the Eighth Floor Conference Suite at Barbara Carey Shuler Manor, 1400 NW 54th St., Liberty City.
The event, headlined by Gospel recording artist Elaine Nelson, will bring together families and children who have been affected by violent crime and their supporters.
“The primary mission of this organization is to offer assistance to families as they go through the grieving process in which they may have been traumatically impacted by the murder of a child. We offer on-going support, education, advocacy and awareness,” said Denise Brown, CEO and founder of the Opa-locka-based organization.
For more information on RJT Foundation brunch, call 305-460-2223 or 786-623-4623 or visit rjtfoundation.com