VH-1 celebrity wants justice for 17-year-old sister shot in the head

Family says social media posts from gunman tell a different story, shooting was no accident, they say

MIAMI, Fla. – “Please help me spread light about my sister’s case! The Miami Police aren’t doing anything and they’re trying to let the person who killed my 17 year old sister get away with it," posted singer Salomé, also known as Betty Idol, on her Instagram page.

Her sister, Giselle Rengifo, was shot in the head Monday night at a rented Airbnb.

Rengifo was killed in a shooting in the 2700 block of Southwest 20th Street. Michael McGowan, 17, is facing manslaughter charges after he said the shooting was accidental. Police arrived at the scene at 8:23 p.m. Monday to find Rengifo dead at the scene.

Rengifo’s family, including Salomé, believe it was no accident. Giselle’s mother, Catherine and aunt, Tonia Westman reference social media posts of McGowan showing off with the gun.

Salomé tells a chilling story on her Instagram page about the incident with a photo of her sister, who she calls, GiGi.

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Im living a nightmare ever since a young man sent me a DM telling me to please check on my sister GISELLE Monday night, MAY 18th. He told me she was at an air bnb hanging out with her friends & this guy she was seeing. He was on FaceTime with her until she quickly passed the phone to her friend and then a min later he heard a gun shot. The girl that was holding the phone looked to the ground & everyone started screaming. Then I called every #police station, every hospital until I was able to finally speak to a #homicide detective in South MIAMI who told me that my sister was taken from me & my family by a person she called a “friend”. I had to call my mom and give her the detectives number so he could tell her because I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t tell my mom that my little sister was taken from us. This boy shot my sister in the head at close range and is only getting charged with “MANSLAUGHTER”. This is not manslaughter this is CAPITAL MURDER! Then they’re trying to call it an ACCIDENT! He told us that “the 4 kids that were there” are saying it was an accident”. My mom went to the police station and she was screaming looking for my sister. She saw the kids and she saw the ONE Friend my mom recognized and the girl told her it was an accident and that she’s sorry. We’ve been calling the police station trying to find my sisters body since Monday night. They didn’t tell us till yesterday. My aunt went to look at my sisters body because we’re not in a good head space & I don’t think it’s a good idea to see her with a bullet in her head and have that memory haunting us for the rest of our lives so my aunt and 2 cousins went. They told us that my sisters face was swollen like a ballon. She has a black eye & it looks like she was shot from the back of her head. THE POLICE AREN’T TELLING US ANYTHING. This happened on Monday and they just made an article YESTERDAY. Im getting texts yesterday telling me that the killer is getting bail & he’s sister was bragging on live disrespecting my lil sister. There are people saying there is another side to this story and I’m going to find out THE TRUTH & make sure my sister gets #JUSTICE! Please help me spread this 🙏🏽 #gigibratz

A post shared by Salomé (@idreambettyidol) on

Giselle’s mother, Catherine, and other family members want police to do more investigating.

Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina, who hosted a news conference Thursday, said there could be additional charges.

“We are aware of social media posts,” Colina said.

Now there are even more questions about where the shooting took place since short-term rentals like Airbnb were banned during the coronavirus pandemic. Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a March 27 executive order that blocked people from renting short-term lodgings and other vacation properties during the public health emergency. The exception was that the rental was only to be used for essential lodging.

Local 10 has reached out to Airbnb for comment. They sent us this statement:

“Our hearts break for those impacted by this tragic incident. We are urgently investigating and stand ready to support Miami Police.”

Devastated and distraught, Catherine Rengifo sobs, "She was a beautiful person. She had a beautiful soul. Why did they take her? Please ask him, ‘Why did he take her from me?’ "

Three witnesses corroborated McGowan’s account that he was holding the gun when it accidentally discharged, shooting Rengifo, 17, in the head.

Regifo’s aunt, Tonia Westman, tells Local 10, “Clearly it is not manslaughter.”

Giselle’s sister, Salomé, wants justice for her sister. She is known for her appearances on VH1′s “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta: Season Five" and “Cartel Crew” and is also famous for singing the hook on Rick Ross’ single “Thug Cry.”

According to her mother, Giselle said that she was going to be staying at a friend’s house, but later learned she was actually at a rented Airbnb. Her mother said she was concerned that she was at the vacation rental because of the pandemic, but her daughter told her she had used disinfectant to clean and she assured her mother all was OK.

Catherine told Local 10 that she let her daughter stay because she thought it would be good for her to spend time with a friend who was visiting from Atlanta since she had been confined because of stay-at-home orders.

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.