Silence and Death in Liberty City

Two killed, 16 wounded, and no answers in Liberty City.

The piece featured an on-camera interview with Mills's mother, Lasonya, standing in front of her home on NW 71st Street, with the address clearly visible. Lasonya Mills criticized her neighbors for not helping the police. She predicted there would "be more shootings."

On Sunday, three days after the interview aired on local television, the Monte Carlo blasted Lasonya Mills's home with AK-47 rounds and wounded five of the kids hanging out in her driveway, including two of her sons: 24-year-old Alphonso Clark and 17-year-old Marquis Mills. Mike Alvin and Troy Jackson, both age 18, and 16-year-old Lamorris Moore were also hit. All survived.

Michael Von Zamft, a veteran Miami-Dade prosecutor working on the January case, lashed out at DeFede. "It is my personal opinion that this shooting was triggered by the DeFede piece," he told New Times. Von Zamft objected to the reporter's use of the anonymous source and criticized showing Lasonya Mills's face and address in the story. Asked about the comment, DeFede posted a web column that said, "the shooting may very well have been prompted by my story."

Now comes the hard part for law enforcement: solving all the shootings. Detectives have at least six cardboard boxes packed with leads, and they've traveled dozens of times outside Miami and Florida while pursuing the case. They have also executed at least one search warrant. But so far, nothing has borne fruit. Witness after witness has refused to talk.

Police have two theories. There's the one discussed by DeFede, that the attack was revenge. The other proposes something set off one of the gamblers at the craps game, maybe a rumor the dice were loaded.

Without more cooperation, though, police aren't likely to make much headway, says Von Zamft: "We're talking here about the community at large not wanting to be branded a snitch. People shouldn't want to watch people get shot and not help the police."

The Pork 'n' Beans shooting was probably unrelated. So far, police have no motive and no descriptions of the shooters.

Like dozens of others interviewed by police, Mills's cousin, Joey Butler, is hesitant to speak with reporters. "I don't know anything about what happened. I really can't say anything," he said the day after the latest shooting. "God is still on the throne and he's in control. That's all I know."

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