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Parents of victims of 2 murders claim gas station operators need to increase security

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The representatives of two grieving families affected by murders in 2009 and 2019 at gas stations in Miami-Dade County met with reporters on Tuesday to send a message to gas station operators.

Rodney Hines, 17, a Miami Norland Senior High School student, was in the passenger’s seat of a friend’s car when he was shot on Oct. 23, 2019, at a Shell gas station, at 840 NW 183 St., in Miami Gardens.

Trinard Snell, 24, was washing cars when he was shot during a gold chain robbery on June 9, 2009 at a Valero gas station, at 7045 NW 27 Ave., in Miami’s Gladeview neighborhood, just west of Liberty City and north of Brownsville.

“That’s a rough situation,” said Rodney Hinds, Sr., the victim’s father who has a pending lawsuit against the gas station operator in Miami Gardens.

Attorneys with the Haggard Law Firm, who represent both Snell and Hinds parents, set up the news conference across the street from the Shell gas station where Rodney was killed. Unlike Snell, Rodney was not the victim of a robbery.

In 2012, a Miami-Dade County jury sided with Snell’s mother, Zoretta Snell, and the gas station operator was ordered to pay $5.9 million in damages.

“I can’t believe 12 years has passed since I lost my son,” the victim’s mother said as she stood near Hinds and attorneys, Todd Michaels and Adam Finkel.

Detectives arrested a suspect in Snell’s murder, but not in Hinds’ murder. The operators of the gas stations mentioned did not respond to requests for comment.

“If gas station operators like those that operate this gas station behind us, don’t increase security measures, innocent people are going to die,” Finkel said during the news conference. “With Labor Day coming up this weekend, we will all be in our cars, stopping at gas stations that we are not familiar (with). If you pull up to a gas station and any part of that gas station is dark, please keep driving.”

About the Author:

Madeleine Wright is a general assignment reporter for Local 10 News. She joined the team in March 2017.