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Mother of young woman killed in I-95 shooting devastated, wants justice

$3,000 reward offered for information leading to Melissa Gonzalez’s killer

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for fatally shooting a young woman last week on Interstate 95 in northwest Miami-Dade.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Melissa Gonzalez, 22, was shot Friday night while driving south on I-95, near the 79th Street exit in the West Little River neighborhood.

Gonzalez’s boyfriend, identified by troopers as Julian Veliz Cortina, 26, was also in the car and heard a gunshot. He said he looked over and saw she had been hurt.

They pulled onto the shoulder of the I-95 express lanes and called for help.

Monday, Gonzalez’s mother, Sheilla Nunez, expressed her extreme grief after losing her daughter, who she brought to South Florida from Cuba at age four.

According to Nunez, Gonzalez was studying to attend law school and had planned to take her LSAT exam Monday.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Gonzalez, who would’ve turned 23 later this month, was targeted, or if she was hit by a stray bullet.

Authorities said Veliz advised the gunshots came from inside a dark colored vehicle, but when speaking to Local 10 News’ Christina Vazquez on Monday, Veliz said that he heard a single gunshot that came into Gonzalez’s car at an angle, through the rear passenger window, and that he did not say the shot came from a dark colored vehicle.

Speaking Monday, Nunez thanked Senator Marco Rubio for helping attempt to bring Gonzalez’s father from Cuba to lay his daughter to rest.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs, which can be found here.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).


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