'Y'all got to stop that,' teen bystander says after being shot in Miami Gardens
Victim, family call for cameras in public spaces
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – It's no secret that gun violence involving teens is a major concern throughout South Florida. In many cases, investigators link the crimes to gang activity.
Several teenagers were shot in one afternoon last October in Miami Gardens, and the family of one of those teens said he was never in a gang and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"It was a Saturday. My son says, 'Mom, I'm going to the park. I'll see you later. I love you,'" Andrea Murray said about her then-17-year-old son, Ty.
It was Oct. 15, 2016, and Miami Gardens police said someone shot three teens walking from nearby Bunche Park. Local 10 News video shows Ty's sandals, which were left behind as he tried to outrun the bullets.
"I had never seen anything like this, anything like this before, in my life," Alba Jofre said.
Seven months later, Ty, whose family didn't want his last name used, is back home and spoke about how that day changed his life.
Ty said he recalls a car driving by and moments later someone wearing a mask got out and opened fire. Ty felt a bullet hit his leg and tried to take cover.
"He came behind the car and shot me some more," Ty said. "He put the gun at my head, but the gun (didn't) shoot. It got jammed, I think."
Ty had been shot six times.
One of the bullets broke his femur, then tore through his intestines, causing an infection in his blood. In the end, doctors had to amputate his right leg.
"That was the hardest moment for me," Murray said. "I broke down and cried and got on my knees. I prayed and thank God that if they got to take it, take it. Just leave him."
It was nearly February when Ty finally made it home.
The worst pain, he said, is that broken bone.
"There's no painkillers for it, to help it stop, because I could feel it in my bone," Ty said.
Meanwhile, Ty's mother just wants answers.
"I just, basically, want to know why," she said.
Ty's shooting was one of several shootings that day, which police said at the time could be gang-related. Ty said he's never been in a gang. He and his friends were unarmed.
"I think it was just the wrong place, wrong time," Ty said.
But months later, Murray is angry that no one has come forward with information. Police have made no arrests.
"It also makes me sad," she said. "This is supposed to be our community and you're letting other people come in and ruin it."
With people in the community so reluctant to come forward with information about shootings, Murray said she wishes there was more security from the city in places like parks. Specifically, she'd like to see cameras.
"If you can put up red-light cameras to give cars tickets, you need to be using real-time monitoring to find out what's going on in what area and especially in the park," Murray said.
A Miami Gardens spokeswoman said the city plans to add cameras to all city parks, including Bunche Park. But she gave no timeline for when that will happen.
"I just really don't want something like this to end up on anybody's doorstep," Murray said.
Ty said his only focus is getting better and eventually walking again with a prosthetic.
He said he doesn't waste time hating his attacker, but he does have something to say to anyone picking up guns without thinking of the damage left behind.
"Y'all got to stop that," he said.
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