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Thu August 14, 2014
Liberty City Victim's Mother: I Will Get Justice
Hermana Richardson clutches a grey shirt in her hand. She brings it to her face slowly and inhales.
“All I have is the smell of my son,” she says. “This is the last shirt he had on before he walked out of my house.”
Her son Kevin was killed on June 24 in one of the worst mass shootings in Miami’s history.
Two men sprayed bullets into a crowd gathered outside an apartment complex in Liberty City. Seven people were injured. Kevin Richardson and his best friend Nakeil Jackson were killed.
Richardson says Miami homicide detectives told her they have the suspects from the mass shooting in custody, but witnesses refuse to cooperate.
“The victims are more silent than anybody in the neighborhood. They’re so afraid for their own lives, they’re scared to tell who did it,” she says.
Frederica Burden, a Miami police spokeswoman, says the mass shooting suspects are not in custody. Burden says detectives "are actively working the case."
As the investigation into her son's death continues, Richardson finds herself as a member of an unofficial club no one wants to join: mothers of murdered victims.
Hours before Kevin was killed he told his mother he was going to hang out near the Pork N Beans, officially named the Liberty Square housing projects.
He had been recently fired from the call center where he worked alongside his mom.
“When he was working he wasn’t hanging because he knew he had to get up and go to work,” she says. “He said, ‘Shoot, I got laid off, I’m'a go around there.’”
Richardson says she’s always thought the Pork N Beans projects had “bad omens” in them.
“I really think that they should shut those projects down because it’s been a lot of killings,” she says. “Even young girls have lost their lives in the projects.”
In December, Letisha Thompson’s 18-year-old daughter Tiarra Grant was killed in the Pork N Beans projects six weeks after giving birth to a baby.
“Honestly the motive doesn’t even matter to me. I just want justice for my child,” Thompson says.
Thompson and Richardson met at an anti-violence protest in Liberty City. Both are waiting for their children’s murders to be solved.
One week after her son was killed in the mass shooting, Richardson buried him. She says as his casket was lowered into the ground, she made him a promise:
“Mommy will get justice for you.”
This story is the last installment of the series "Aftermath: Beyond the Bullets in Liberty City," which looks at the inner-city Miami neighborhood after deadly shootings.