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3-year-old boy shot, killed after his own birthday party

3-year-old shot after own birthday party in Miami-Dade County
3-year-old shot after own birthday party in Miami-Dade County

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The toddler who died from a shooting that happened just after a children’s birthday party Saturday night has been identified.

Three-year-old Elijah La France was killed after gunfire erupted outside of a home in Miami-Dade’s Golden Glades neighborhood, police said. The birthday party was for the boy.

Meanwhile, the party was being held at an Airbnb short-term rental, according to Miami-Dade Police.

“He (was) too sweet. He don’t deserve it,” Elijah’s cousin, Adrien Annestor, said. “I wish it could be me. To take my spot. And then he could live.”

Also wounded during the shooting was a 21-year-old woman, according to Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Her identity has yet to be released.

Miami-Dade police said it happened around 8 p.m. in the area of Northeast 158th Street and North Miami Avenue. Officers arrived after receiving a ShotSpotter alert of gunfire.

Search continues for person who fatally shot toddler at birthday party
Search continues for person who fatally shot toddler at birthday party

The shooting followed an altercation outside of a home, Zabaleta said.

“I would say anywhere from 30 to 50 shots,” said neighbor Marc Anderson, who said he was outside working on a truck when he had to duck for cover.

“People were running, so we ducked behind his truck and some people ran and hid behind these two trucks,” Anderson said.

The police officers who first responded took LaFrance in their patrol car to a nearby hospital where a doctor pronounced the child dead, Zabaleta said.

“That boy was so happy,” Annestor said. “You took someone’s life. You took a special little kid on his day, you take his life.”

The woman who was shot was rushed to Aventura Hospital, where she is said to be in stable condition.

Code compliance officers were out Sunday checking out the rental.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers to (305) 471-8477.

LOCATION

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Wilson Louis and Photojournalist Maurice Moran contributed to this report.


About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.