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Local leaders, community gather in hopes of putting stop to gun violence in SW Miami-Dade

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. – A community gathered to share their concerns after a recent wave of gun violence. Several shootings happened not far from each other in the last few weeks, and the most recent occurrence has left a teen fighting for his life.

Local leaders, activists, law enforcement and residents are all fed up and frustrated by the gun violence plaguing their communities.

“It’s just too much to bear,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We unfortunately have guns on the streets, people that shouldn’t have those guns, and they’re using them very sadly, inappropriately to shoot innocent people.”

It has been less than 24 hours after yet another shooting in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Many gathered at the Goulds park gym for a town hall to work towards a solution.

“You see, they are so afraid to go to sleep in my district, that what they do is they get a top mattress and put it down and sleep on the floor because they’re worried that while they sleep a stray bullet might go through their window,” said State Rep. Kevin Chambliss, (D) District 117. “No child should live in a war zone.”

Monday’s shooting is the latest in a recent string of shootings in Southwest Miami-Dade. A 16-year-old in West Perrine is currently fighting for his life after getting shot, around 1 a.m.

Last week, five people were shot at the Perrine Rainbow apartments in a drive by, and the week before that, four teens were sent to the hospital after a shooting at Cutler Manor apartments, where Levine Cava, along with others, walked through before the town hall Monday.

Romania Dukes, who dedicates her life to fighting gun violence after her son was killed in a shooting, organized the event.

“My son died in my arms,” said Dukes.

She said it’s time for people to stand up and speak out.

“It’s so much crime going on right now. We’re so secretive about it when we should not be. We’re losing our kids and our grand kids, like how can you be quiet about that, about murdering kids and from your community?” said Dukes.

Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin also attended the event.

“We keep replaying this scene over and over and over and over again and nothing is happening,” said Martin. “We got the resources, but we gonna stop and take a second and say to ourselves we have mental health issues right here in our community.”

While for many this is a battle they have been fighting for a very long time, everyone in that gym said they will not stop.

“We need young people to know there is a better path,” said Levine Cava. “We need adults to know that they can make a difference.”

The 16-year-old who was shot Monday morning is said to be in critical condition.

If you have any information on the shooter or any of these shootings, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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