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Liberty City's 15th Avenue: Nine murders, Trina, Trick Daddy, and the Liberty City Seven

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But 15th Avenue wasn't done with the Manleys. Around 10 p.m. on January 23 last year, Jimmy Jr. was drinking a beer in front of the three-story apartment complex where his brother usually reads the morning newspaper. Krow's little brother was a spectator in a small crowd of about 30 people watching a craps game.

Two unidentified men suddenly approached the scene and drew firearms. One of them was armed with an AK-47. He snarled, "Get on the ground!" While some of the bettors followed orders, others — including Jimmy — took off on foot. He ended up among nine people hit by machine gun fire. The 7.62mm rounds tore up his arms and the right side of his rear end. When the suffocating gunpowder cleared, Jimmy lay bleeding near the crumpled bodies of teenagers Derrick Gloster and Brandon Mills, both of whom were dead from bullets to their heads.

Police have still not identified a motive for the shootings, but Krow thinks it was revenge for a robbery.

Doris was in her living room when she heard the Fallujah-style attack. "I put on my sneakers and ran out there," she recollects. By then, the corner was swarming with Miami Police officers. She tried to get through the yellow tape, but a cop handcuffed her and put her in a squad car. "I didn't get to see my son until 4 o'clock in the morning," she says. "By then, he was already in the hospital."

According to Krow, his little brother is a lucky man. Six inches lower and the bullets that ripped through his arms would have hit him in the chest.


On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the 15th Avenue mass shooting, the moms of murder victims Derrick Gloster and Brandon Mills, their relatives, friends, and Miami homicide detectives convened outside Brewton's Market. They held a prayer vigil and lit candles for the victims. No arrests have been made even though there is a $50,000 reward. Brandon's mom, Lasonya Mills, made a tearful plea for someone to come forward with information. "People don't want to be called a snitch," Mills urged, "but they have to end that mentality."

Two days later, shortly before 11 p.m., 27-year-old O'Neil Gregory got into an argument with someone in front of the minimart at 1490 NW 71st St., across the street from Miracles. Shots rang out. Gregory jumped onto his bicycle and pedaled south. He collapsed at the intersection of 70th Street and 15th Avenue. He had been shot twice in the left bicep and once in the chest. Fire-rescue units pronounced him dead at the scene.

This past February 8, an unknown suspect with a chrome pistol shot 30-year-old Erick Johnson in front of Brewton's. The killer fled north on a purple bicycle that he ditched on the porch of 7104 NW 14th Pl. Witnesses saw the suspect take off in a turquoise Ford pickup truck. Johnson died in the Jackson Memorial Hospital emergency room. A month later came Corneisha Miller's murder.

On a recent afternoon, Krow strolls up to the counter at Miracles. He asks for two conch fritters. Behind him, five people wait to place orders. A deep-purple Pontiac sedan with 24-inch rims pulls into the lot. Its driver joins the line.

Krow grabs his conch fritters and unwraps one. He informs a visitor that his girlfriend, Carla Del Castillo, has established a program called Wonder Girlz to keep young females off the street. If it takes off, he will establish his own. "I'll call it Super Boyz," he says. "I'd get them away from all the hard-core rap music they listen to and all the Tom Clancy videogames they play."

As he munches on his fried shellfish treat, Krow again breaks into the language of Malcolm X. The overwhelming violence and poverty has created a community bereft of respect and trust, he says. "That's the deadliest thing on 15th Avenue. No one trusts each other because they don't trust themselves."

As far as coping with the brutality, he bluntly says, "There really is no way to get used to it." Then he walks across the street and disappears around the side of the apartment complex where he reads his morning paper.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.