MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade police are investigating a domestic-related shooting that occurred early Friday morning and now a mother is mourning the loss of her son.
The shooting was reported in the 11000 block of Southwest 243rd Street, police said.
According to Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the police department, a dispute between family members escalated to a shooting.
“Just pop, pop, pop, pop -- then they stopped for a little bit, then kept going,” Eduardo Perez, who lives nearby, told Local 10 News.
Perez said he heard a car zoom by before the shots were fired down the street from his house.
According to Zabaleta, an 18-year-old man was airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center in critical condition, but succumbed to his injuries.
The mother of that 18-year-old identified him as Jairo Lara-Garcia. She said he was an aspiring rapper.
“I wish I would’ve gone,” Sandra Monzon said. “I wish it would have been me. I wish he would have shot me instead of my son.”
Monzon is referring to her recently-estranged husband, Lara-Garcia’s stepfather.
“He was my son and I trusted this man in my house,” Monzon said. “He was my husband. I had another child with him. I never thought he would do that to my son.”
Monzon said she and her husband had split up days earlier over what she described as ongoing abuse.
She said her son offered to go pick up money that was owed in an arranged meeting and he drove to the house where his stepfather was staying. Lara-Garcia’s girlfriend joined hi.
Police say they argued and it quickly escalated
Lara-Garcia was hit and so was his girlfriend and their car crashed down the street.
Police quickly swarmed the area and then detained the stepfather, who has not been identified.
Lara-Garcia’s girlfriend, 17, was transported to HCA Florida Kendall Hospital by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in stable condition.
Local 10 News visited the home where the shooting took place.
“We wish never happened. That’s it,” a man who answered the door said, apologizing for what happened.
A car apparently linked to the crime was partially covered by a yellow tarp and was pushed up against a metal gate. The car was eventually towed away.
Those who live nearby say it was a startling situation.
“I felt unsafe in my neighborhood, to be honest,” Perez said.
Lara-Garcia’s heartbroken mother is now left with questions.
“He took away my son,” Monzon said. “My son had a lot of dreams.”