9 shot at public park's basketball court in West Little River

Victims of drive-by shooting involving a Nissan Maxima include 16-year-olds Trugon Bryson, Garrett Johnson and Kendricks Williams

By Ben Kennedy - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Five teenagers were among the nine people shot at a public park in West Little River Monday afternoon. 

The drive-by shooting happened at the basketball courts in Sidney Wynn Park at Arcola Park,1680 NW 87th St. Witnesses told police that the gunman was in the front passenger seat of a dark, newer model Nissan Maxima.

The group was playing basketball when the gunman leaned out the window, aimed a semi-automatic weapon in their direction and hit 16-year-old Trugon Bryson in the head. He then sprayed bullets indiscriminately at the crowd, as people started running.

Five of the people shot did not wait for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and took off to the hospital themselves. Paramedics took Bryson and three others to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. Bryson remained in critical but stable condition Tuesday.

The other victims were David Johnson, Garrett Johnson, 16, Kendricks Williams, 16, Berek Latson, 17, Tavarus Mitchel, 19, Alex Yanes, 20, Malcolm McCray, 21, and Dairyus Brookins, 21.

Records show Brookins has been getting arrested for marijuana possession since he turned 18.

TRAGIC WEST LITTLE RIVER SHOOTINGS

October 2014: Gena James, 19, was shot dead before her birthday. Anton Hendricks was charged with her murder.

July 2011: David Johnson and his brother Charles W. Johnson were suspected of killing Luvonia Williams and shooting five men at a house in the 1900 block of NW 92nd St. Johnson, who was 28 when the 2011 shooting happened, was not the one shot Monday.

Christmas Day, 2007:  14-year-old girl is killed south of the Gratigny Expressway and west of I-95.

Christmas Day, 2007:  14-year-old girl is killed south of the Gratigny Expressway and west of I-95The West Little River neighborhood  -- east of Hialeah, north of Liberty City and west of Miami Shores --  has been plagued with a  youth gang problem for decades, according to several Department of Justice programs.

This isn't the first drive-by shooting injuring children at a West Little River public park. In a 2011 gang-related shooting, four men drove by and shot at a crowd of kids. Teenage boys were practicing football and girls were participating in cheerleader workouts.  A 3-year-old and three teens ages 11, 13 and 16 were shot and survived.

On Monday, park employees were expecting a bigger crowd this week. Miami-Dade public schools are on break from Monday until January 2nd. The public park was open at 9 a.m. and it closed before 5 p.m., as police blocked off several blocks of Northwest 17th Avenue.

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