MIAMI – A 10-year-old boy is dead after being shot in the head in Miami, police said.
The shooting happened about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday in the 1900 block of Northwest Fourth Court. Miami police found the boy, identified by family members as Marlon Eason, also known as Merv, lying on the walkway in front of the home.
Family members, including a boy who claimed to be the victim's cousin, arrived shortly at the scene.
His uncle, Richard Ruffin, told Local 10 News that Marlon was outside his home playing with a ball when he was shot. Ruffin said he heard four to five gunshots and ran outside to help.
"I just tried to talk to him, but he was unresponsive," said Ruffin. "His condition just deteriorated."
Marlon was taken by Miami Fire Rescue to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead, according to Miami police.
Police said the incident may have been the result of a drive-by shooting, but that has not been confirmed.
Family members and friends gathered at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Local 10 News was told many of them approached the fire rescue unit as it pulled up to the emergency entrance.
"They broke my heart," Marlon's grandmother, Dorothy Ruffin told Local 10 News on Wednesday. "He was only 10 years old. If anybody knows something please come forward. "
Marlon was not the only child to be shot Tuesday within Miami city limits. Earlier in the evening, two 16-year-olds were shot in the 2000 block of Northwest 18th Terrace. One of them later died.
Police said around the same time that Marlon was shot, and within the same vicinity, another teen was grazed by a bullet. It's unclear if any or all of the shootings could be related.
City of Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes released a statement Wednesday saying in part, "Both as a parent and as Chief of Police, I was deeply saddened by the murders of Marlon Eason (10) and Richard Hallman (16). All life is precious, but the loss of children is even more difficult to understand. I have directed the men and women of my department to do all that is necessary to get to the bottom of these tragic incidents, but please understand that we cannot do this alone. We need the help of the community that we have sworn to serve."
Anyone with information about either shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A $3,000 reward is being offered in each case for information that leads to an arrest.
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