16-year-old boy arrested in shooting death of woman in Miami-Dade

Dyenette Early was sitting on her porch when she was hit by stray gunfire

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 16-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday after police said he shot and killed a mother of three last month.

James John Wooden, of Miami, faces a charge of second-degree murder.

Miami-Dade police said Wooden was involved in a shootout near Northwest 62nd Street and Northwest 20th Avenue about 1 a.m. on Dec. 26. 

Several stray bullets struck Dyenette Early who was sitting on her porch nearby. Paramedics took Early, 31, to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where she was pronounced dead. Two others were also grazed by bullets.

"She was loved by many. She was loved by the whole community. Why would ya'll take her life like that?" Early's friend, identified only as Layla, said. "Don't kill innocent mamas. Why you shot her? Them kids -- Christmas ain't never gonna be the same."

James John Wooden
James John Wooden

Police said they used surveillance video from area businesses to positively identify Wooden as one of the gunmen. Police also said Wooden posted a photo of himself on Facebook that matched the appearance of the person in the videos.

"It's a little relief on our family that they have at least one suspect right now," the victim's sister, Lanette Early, said.  

Wooden is currently being held at Miami-Dade County's Juvenile Justice Center. He waived his right to appear in court Wednesday, but his mother, aunt and grandmother showed up on his behalf. 

Wooden will be held at the Juvenile Justice Center until at least his next hearing next month. 

"We try to cope with everything, but if you listen to her kids, they are the ones who saw her on the ground. They cry at night, they ask why did it happen to their mother," Lanette Early said. 

Police said they are still looking for the other gunmen and asking for the public's help to find him.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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