gun violence

This year, a Sweet 16 birthday party came under fire leaving six teens injured. The youngest was 13.

 

A 15-year old boy was killed at a  wake in North Miami-Dade.  

Six-year-old King Carter was gunned down as he was walking to go buy candy.

 

Rowan Moore Gerety WLRN

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WLRN is looking at the impact of children and teens killed by guns in Miami-Dade County through the voices of some of the people who are most affected.

Tequila Forshee was 12 years old when she was killed inside her grandmother's Miami Gardens home on Aug. 14, 2013.

Bullets ripped through the living room walls and windows striking Tequila as she was getting her hair braided.

Nadege Green / WLRN

The photo captures a grief-stricken mother at her 8-year old daughter’s grave site-- a little girl felled by a bullet in North Miami-Dade.

Rosalind Brown is lying down on the freshly planted grass clutching a blanket near Jada Page’s temporary grave marker.

Courstesy Lori Hadley-Davis / WLRN

Jada Page was shot in the head  in a drive-by shooting on August 28.  Two days later, she died from her injuries in the hospital. She was 8 years old.

The little girl who loved to dance and was the life of family gatherings was not the intended target.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

Just days after 8-year-old Jada Page died from a gunshot wound to the head in a drive-by shooting, funeral home director Lori Hadley Davis embalmed her niece’s tiny body.

Health News Florida

Keeping guns away from those with serious mental illness could help reduce gun suicides.

  

That’s according to a new study out this week in the Health Affairs journal that looked at more than 81,000 adults in Florida with serious mental illness. Researchers got data on residents in Tampa and Miami with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression who received care in a publicly-funded health care setting; that data was married with court records and health records.

Rowan Moore Gerety

As a high school freshman, Aaron Willis was paralyzed from the waist down in a drive-by shooting while riding his bike in Wynwood. Wednesday, Willis graduated from Booker T Washington High School on the honor roll.

 

Willis wore a look of sheer determination as he walked across the stage to claim his diploma, walking with the aid of crutches and robotic leg supports. The friends and classmates who filled the auditorium lost it, their screams gradually coalescing into chants of “Aaron, Aaron.”

 

Nadege Green / WLRN

The Blue Lake Village Apartments are painted beige and green. Locals call them the “Colors.”

Around the back, there’s a playground with faded yellow slides, but kids can’t get in.

The green gate is welded shut.

“They had problems on the playground with not the kids but other folks coming out and hanging around and doing their dirt over here pretty much,” said Miami-Dade police officer Antonio Moore.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Kalaila Rollins was still wearing her blue school uniform and backpack as she led a protest through the Liberty Square housing project in Liberty City.

“We demand, justice. We demand justice,” she chanted.

Kalaila is 11-years old. A dozen of her mostly elementary school-age friends and some adults joined in her chants.

The injustice she is rallying against is the inability to play outside without the fear of getting shot.

Screengrab King Carter Funeral Livestream / WLRN

When children and teenagers die, they’re remembered for who they were--kids who loved cartoons, school and sports.

In the past decade, more than 300 children and teens have been killed by gun violence in Miami-Dade County.

Terry Wright, owner of the Wright & Young Funeral Home  in North Miami-Dade, planned the funerals for some of  those children whose lives were cut short by senseless acts of violence.

And even though his business is death, Wright struggles with the homegoing services for  kids.

Miami Dade College (Live stream)

Miami has experienced a spike in shootings of and by young people in the opening months of 2016. But the organizers of Wednesday’s “Goals NOT Guns” summit, planned for weeks and held in Little Havana,  could not have known just how timely it would be.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez unveiled a new plan he hopes will prevent shooting deaths of children.

More than 100 children in the county have been killed by gun violence over past three years.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Sherdavia Jenkins was 9 years old when she was killed in the Liberty Square housing projects on July 1, 2006.

She was on her front porch when a stray bullet  struck the little girl who loved video games.

This week, she would have turned 19 years old. Her family and community member gathered to commemorate her birthday at a park across the street from the housing projects where she was killed.

The park is named for her: Sherdavia Jenkins Peace Park.

Since Sherdavia's death 10-years ago, an average of 30 children a year have been killed in  Miami-Dade County.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Conversations about gun violence and how it affects young people in Miami-Dade are getting more urgent—especially after the shooting death of 6-year old King Carter last month.

Earlier this week, a room full of educators, parents, pastors and community leaders gathered in Liberty City at a catering hall. They were there at the request of Tawana Akins, an elementary school teacher who knows personally the toll these killings can have. 

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