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Gang dispute on social media leads to 17-year-old boy's funeral, aunt says

Dozens turned out to bury Miami Gardens high school student

MIAMI-GARDENS, Fla. – Gang life had its way again in Miami Gardens.

Three teenage boys faced first-degree murder and attempted murder charges, as Roderick "Rod" Sweeting's body was in a coffin on Saturday at the Bethel Apostolic Temple, 1855 NW 119 St. Rod's aunt Deborah Parrish George said they were also hurting for the mothers of Rod's killers. 

Parents need to know what their kids are doing on Instagram and Facebook, she said. The gang dispute that prompted the shooting was ongoing on social media. 

A teenage girlfriend shared a photo of Rod. The American High School student was standing. The photo's  background was a blue sky, white clouds and stairways to heaven. His "sunrise" was Dec. 17, 1998. His "sunset" was April 5th, the caption said. He was 17. 

On the day Rod died, he was wearing headphones. When rivals were shooting at him, the music he was listening to was so loud that he couldn't hear the warnings. They shot at them about 20 times. 

"The victim was shot even when he was defenseless lying on the ground with his spinal cord severed by the bullets,"  an investigator said. 

Friction between the Cloverleaf Boys and the 7th Block gangs prompted the deadly ambush in the parking lot of the Oak Apartment Complex, 17598 NW 25 Ave., near Miami Carol City Senior High School. 

Rod is one of 11 teenagers who has died of gunshot wounds in Miami-Dade County this year. 

The U.S. Marshals and Miami Gardens police arrested three teens: Devon Vickers, 15, Quamaine McMillian, 15, and Rachid Jacques, 16. Devon had already been caught with a gun before. And Quamaine had already been shot before. 


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