Miami gang life: 19-year-old victim loved his accused killer as brother
Teen arrested in 2 North Miami Beach slayings
NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – When 19-year-old Christopher "Loko" Francois went to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center to bail out a friend, he never imagined he would end up dead hours later.
Francois didn't mind coming up with the cash. He considered Tyrell "Hazel" Robinson, 19, a brother. They had met when they were kids and were part of the Fourth Avenue crew in North Miami Beach.
"Hey, Zoe," Francois said as he rushed to greet Robinson. He recorded Robinson's release on a Facebook live video.
When they returned to the neighborhood, Robinson, Francois and their friends stood up for a group photo. Some signaled their loyalty to the crew with their right hands. That would be their last time together.
They would later have to deal with the loss and betrayal that often comes with gang life.
Francois and Christy "Crystal" Elisarraras, of Las Vegas, turned up dead with gunshot wounds to the head Aug. 26. And on Friday, Robinson was back at TGK. This time he was facing charges in the slayings.
Police recovered Francois' body from a tiny Columbia Tot Lot park in the Fulford By the Sea neighborhood. And residents found Elisarraras dead inside a car nearby.
Robinson, who they considered the leader of the crew, allegedly told friends he was with Francois and Elisarraras when someone started shooting. He was on probation on charges related to a 2014 burglary, so he didn't tell police.
Friends grew suspicious. The two were shot at close range and not in a drive-by shooting, as Robinson allegedly claimed. And friends said they knew Francois was armed, but his gun was gone when police found his body.
When they confronted Robinson, a witness said his response was that of indignation. Retaliation followed. Days later, North Miami Beach police responded to a shooting at Robinson's house.
Francois and Elisarraras were troubled since their early teens. He had been accused of being involved in burglaries and she had been arrested several times for prostitution.
Their relatives said they preferred to suffer the loss in private.
A woman claiming to be Elisarrara's sister used a GoFundMe account to try to come up with the money to bring back her remains to Las Vegas. The high school graduate was 25 years old.
"It's just horrible to think she is gone," Her friend Barbie Soto wrote on Facebook. "She didn't deserve to go so young."
Francois had just gotten a job at Aventura Mall. After dropping out of North Miami Beach Senior High School, he earned his GED. He had a girlfriend. He was praying again and had dreams of attending Miami-Dade College to become a behavioral therapist, a relative said.
Francois "was trying to stay away from crime, but couldn't stay away from his so called friends," said a relative who wanted to remain anonymous over fear of reprisal. "If someone can learn a lesson here is to be careful about choosing your friends."
Robinson was being held without bond on Sunday at TGK. He faced two counts of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
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