Miami-Dade County leaders met with law enforcement and victims of violent crimes Monday evening to discuss ways to end gun violence.
Bishop Victor T. Curry led the meeting. Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho urged parents to put education first and have a more active role in their children's lives.
"Children are dying on their way to school, on their way home from school," said Carvalho.
The stories of struggle, and the outcry for help is one that's all too familiar to the Willis family. Aaron Willis, 15, was shot while riding his bike to a friend’s home in December. He’s now in a wheelchair and doctors fear that he will never walk again.
“I don’t wish this on any parent,” said Sammie Willis, Aaron’s father.
“I realize it’s a lot of people going through stuff like me. I'm not the only one going through stuff like this,” said Aaron.
That realization is what brought a panel together of judges, attorneys, police and other victim's of gun violence. Each hope and pray for a solution to the murders that have taken the lives of 99 kids in Miami-Dade County between 2009 and 2012. That number is three times the rate of Broward County.
Another young teenager almost became a statistic. Brandon Allen was walking home from Miami Northwestern High school in February 2012 when he was shot in the neck.
"If the bullet had hit another centimeter away, I wouldn't have been able to tell this story today, so I'm thankful I had God by my side," said Allen.