Police: Teen dead after being shot in Liberty City

Community leaders look to fight back crime, gun violence

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

LIBERTY CITY, Fla. - Police are looking for the community's help solving the shooting death of a teenager in Liberty City.

Police said 16-year-old Marquis Bruson was gunned down in the densely populated Liberty Square housing development near NW 62nd Street and NW 14th Avenue.

People living in the area said they heard as many as 20 shots. This happened in broad daylight, around 2pm Saturday afternoon.

Police spokesman William Moreno told Local 10's Christina Vazquez the teen was rushed to JMH Ryder Trauma Center, where he later died.

"Only thing I heard was gun shots and I was trying to get my kids inside," said Bo Gator, "there is too much violence in our neighborhood...the best place to be around here is inside your house."

A crew from the reality TV show "First 48" tagged along with homicide detectives as crime scene technicians collected evidence.

Police are now working on leads and asking anyone with any information to come forward.

The neighborhood where the teen was shot is located right across NW 62nd Street from where someone in a passing car opened fire on two dads who were pushing their one-year-olds in a stroller last month.

One of the fathers, Antonio Lucas, was hit by a bullet near the ribs and survived. Another man walking in the area was also hit by a bullet and survived. Eyewitnesses said it was a miracle the kids were not hurt.

Lucas' friend David McNair told Local 10's Christina Vazquez, "We was walking and then we stopped to talk to some friends and it just happened out of nowhere. I heard bang, bang, bang, bang I'm thinking it's firecrackers so I turn around, I see dudes shooting out of a car. They rode off and he was like I'm hit, I'm hit. That's messed up, like you all could have waited until we didn't have the kids or something."

McNair said he and his friend Lucas did not know the shooters.

Sara Smith is president of the Liberty Square Tenant Council. Smith told Local 10 she believes crime is up in her area.

"It's a lot of people who are getting killed, a lot of shootings that have been occurring," Smith said. "We are asking that this shooting stop. We have little children who live over here, we have families over here, we have older people who live here and it needs to stop. We are just asking for more vigilance from police officers, the ones that are in our area we ask that they start doing foot patrols like they were."

Smith also said they are asking that neighborhood surveillance cameras mounted on light poles in their area, "be restored, to my knowledge they are not working."

Local 10's Christina Vazquez asked police spokesman William Moreno if patrols have decreased in that area and about the surveillance cameras.

Moreno explained how he did not have that information at his fingertips but that he would find out and said as always police want to work with the community to ensure the safety of residents.

Meanwhile, Pastor Richard P. Dunn II arrived on the crime scene after leaving a meeting with other neighborhood ministers who were discussing a peace march for that very area.

"To have this happen so immediately after the meeting I'm just flabbergasted, I'm taken aback," said Dunn II

The Pastor said their theme is a "love they neighbor crusade" and that they were thinking of hosting it March 23rd.

"We have to keep on praying, keep on trying and keep on working together it is going to require that everyone gets involved we can't point the fingers at any one group of people or person, or any one agency. I'm not going to give up, we've got to make it a better place for people in this area to live, they deserve better."

"We are just asking for some peace," said Smith, "the message I am trying to say is we need to stop doing black-on-black crime, stop all this killing, enough is enough."

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