MIAMI – Aurianna McNear was burying her 17-year-old son Cairi “Cai” McNear, the victim of a 15-year-old shooter at a public housing rental community in Miami-Dade County’s Gladeview neighborhood.
McNear has been outspoken since the fatal shooting on May 4 in the complex’s courtyard at 7126 NW 14th Pl., just north of Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. She talked to reporters outside of the Range Funeral Home in Liberty City.
The grieving mother had a request for the community: “Don’t let Cairi’s death be in vain.
“We have got to talk about gang violence. We’ve got to talk about guns. We’ve got to talk about how we teach our sons to deescalate.”
The Miami-Dade Police Department released surveillance video showing a woman attempting to stop the armed 15-year-old boy from shooting Cairi, who was unarmed. The video shows the teen — detectives later identified as Tavarus Williams — pulling the trigger.
Federal data shows most gang members are males from neighborhoods where poverty is endemic. About 15% of all the homicides in the country are associated with gangs. There are some 33,000 gangs using violence to control neighborhoods with the goal of boosting their illegal money-making activities.
“Something has to change and hopefully this — this is what will bring the change,” the 39-year-old mother said adding she was in pain and she was really going to miss him.
The question about how the teenage boy was able to get a hold of a gun still tortured her. McNear wore a T-shirt with a picture of her son. She left the funeral home to attend a prayer vigil at Charles Hadley Park, at 1350 NW 50th St., in Liberty City. The group of mourners included children and teenagers
Relatives described Cairi as the family’s protector and a talented jokester who enjoyed making others laugh. He also loved football and motorcycles and was looking forward to turning 18 on Oct. 27th.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the life of one of our youths violently taken away before he could fulfill all of his dreams,” Miami-Dade Police Interim Director George A. Perez recently said in a statement.
Officers didn’t say anything about the source of the gun or if the shooting was gang-related. Meanwhile, Tavarus is facing a second-degree murder charge. Detectives arrested him on Monday in Broward County and he remained in juvenile detention in Miami-Dade County. Prosecutors want to charge him as an adult.