Four Men With High-Powered Rifle Sought After 7-Year-Old Killed in Miami Drive-By

Miami-Dade Police are on the hunt for four men after a 7-year-old was killed in a drive-by shooting in Jackson Heights.
Miami-Dade Police are on the hunt for four men after a 7-year-old was killed in a drive-by shooting in Jackson Heights.

Update 1:15 p.m.: MDPD has identified one of the men suspected in the shooting as Dravein "Pop" Duke, a 19-year-old currently on probation for grand theft charges. 

Seven-year-old Amiere Castro was visiting his cousins yesterday in South Miami-Dade, hanging out inside their modest ranch home in the Jackson Heights neighborhood. That's when a white Dodge Ram slowed to a crawl along Jackson Street, rolled down a window, and peppered the house with bullets from a high-powered rifle.

The cousins scattered, running for cover, the kids later told reporters. Amir took a bullet to the head and died on the scene. 

Miami-Dade Police are conducting a full-on manhunt this morning for the four men they believe were inside the truck as community leaders mourn yet another child killed by indiscriminate gun violence.

"Murderous, cowardly violence, during the holiday season, claims the life of a seven-year old child in Miami-Dade. #Unacceptable," Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho wrote on Twitter. Carvalho also linked to a Miami Herald piece reporting that 100 children were killed by gunfire in the past three years.  

The latest deadly shooting happened just before 3:30 p.m. yesterday at 15120 Jackson St., MDPD says.

"Inside the house, [investigators] discovered a 7-year-old had been shot. The child was pronounced deceased on the scene," department spokesperson Det. Jennifer Capote says in a release.

Witnesses saw a white four-door Dodge Ram leaving the scene, Capote says. It has tinted windows and a paper tag; the men inside included two white Hispanic men and two black men, she says. There's no motive known for the shooting. 

Police cautioned that the men are armed with powerful weaponry. "Please remember that they’re armed with at least one high-powered, assault-type rifle. So do not approach them. What we need you to do is call police immediately,” Miami-Dade Police Deputy Director Juan Perez told reporters last night.

The shooting is just the latest in a stunning year for gun violence against young Miamians, including a mass shooting that wounded 15 teens at Liberty City nightclub the Spot and a 10-year-old boy gunned down in Overtown while shooting baskets

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