Liberty City mass shooting likely retaliatory, police chief says

2 killed, 7 injured when gunmen open fire in crime-plagued neighborhood

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI - Miami's police chief said a shooting in the crime-plagued Liberty City neighborhood that left two men dead and seven people injured was likely retaliatory.

"Two gunmen showed up in a vehicle, got out and started shooting with automatic weapons," Chief Manuel Orosa said at a news conference Wednesday morning. "We believe this is probably a retaliatory shooting over something that happened before, but we just need to put the pieces together."

Kevin Richardson, 29, and Nakeil Jackson, 26, were killed in Tuesday's early-morning shooting across from the Liberty Square public housing complex.

Devon McNeal, who was injured in the shooting, recalled the ordeal from his hospital bed in an exclusive interview with Local 10's Glenna Milberg. McNeal said he saw the shooters in a beige Ford Taurus and hid under the stairs when the shooting started.

Many of those who flocked to Jackson Memorial Hospital to visit the wounded Tuesday said shootings are a way of life in Liberty City.

Liberty Square residents in the past have asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for crime-fighting money to help stop the violence. HUD used to have set-aside drug-elimination grants for low-income housing, but the money earmarked for this program was eliminated in 2002, HUD spokeswoman Gloria Shanahan said in an email to Local 10's Christina Vazquez.

Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development installed 21 cameras in the area of Liberty Square in 2009. However, because of bad weather last weekend, six cameras stopped working, Executive Director Gregg Fortner said in a statement.

The sister of one of the victims spoke to the media Wednesday outside JMH.

She said her sister, Jessica Martin, 17, was shot six times, including twice in the chest.

Doctors said Martin's surgeries have been successful and she will survive her injuries.

"Fortunately, my sister is good," her sister told Local 10 News. "Unfortunately, others are not, but someone should definitely say something. Someone had to see something."

Six other victims also remain in the hospital, but all wish to remain anonymous.

So far, no arrests have been made, but police believe the shooting is gang-related.

"The common denominator is drugs or something stupid that happened that people decide -- because of turf, because of pride -- they decide to shoot up the neighborhood," Orosa said.

Copyright 2014 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.