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Miami-Dade officials discuss ‘gun violence epidemic’

Mayor, other leaders urge community to work together to bring down crime

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava held a news conference with other local leaders to discuss what they are calling the “gun violence epidemic” in the area.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava held a news conference with other local leaders to discuss what they are calling the “gun violence epidemic” in the area.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other local leaders held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss what they are calling the “gun violence epidemic” in the area and to raise awareness about the ongoing investigation of a shooting that left a 6-year-old girl dead last month.

Levine Cava said the gun violence in Miami-Dade County is a “public health crisis and we need to treat it that way.”

She said early intervention and assistance from the community will help curb violent crimes.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle also spoke at the event.

“There is a trend, not just here but across the country in violence,” said Rundle.

Added Levine Cava: “We can and we must reverse these alarming trends.”

According to authorities, 6-year-old Chassidy Saunders was fatally shot the night of Jan. 16 while attending a toddler’s birthday party in the area of Northwest 55th Street and Sixth Court.

The shooting also left two adults injured, including an employee of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. Witnesses told police officers the gunman fled in a black vehicle.

No arrests have been made.

Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez reiterated the mayor’s statements about working together to bring justice for victims of gun violence and to stop violent crimes in the area.

“We need you,” he said. “Give these people up.”

Ramirez warned that by not helping to get violent criminals off the streets, residents are putting themselves and their loved ones at risk.

Anyone with information about the shooting involving Chassidy is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477. A reward for information leading to an arrest has been increased to $5,000.


About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.