UPDATE: CBS4 Pulls DeFede Video at Heart of Liberty City Shooting Dustup

Yesterday, a veteran Miami-Dade prosecutor told New Times he thinks a story by CBS4's Jim DeFede that aired last week triggered a drive-by shooting in Liberty City on Sunday that left five young men wounded.

Today, the video report in question appears to have disappeared from CBS4's website, although a written version of DeFede's story remains. (The video originally appeared just to the right of the story, where the player now says "Video requested not available.)

Reached by phone, DeFede said he wasn't aware that the video had been removed from the site.

UPDATE: As of 3:30 p.m., the video is back up and running on CBS4. You can watch it here.

There is one significant change, however. A shot included in an earlier version of the story that showed Lasonya Mills's address appears to have been edited out of this version. Should we take that as a mea culpa? A CBS4 producer hasn't returned Riptide's call about the change.

You can read about the whole commotion in detail here. But in short, DeFede reported last Thursday about a possible motive in a January assault at a Liberty City street corner craps game that wounded seven and killed two, including 16-year-old Brandon Mills. His story included interviews with Mills's mother, Lasonya, in front of her home with her address visible in several shots.

Three days later, someone drove by in a Monte Carlo and blasted Mills's home with an AK-47, wounding five young men in the front yard, including two of Mills's other sons. All five survived the shooting.

Michael Von Zamft, the assistant state attorney handling the January case, criticized DeFede for including Lasonya Mills in the story, for showing her address, and for relying on an anonymous source for parts of the story. DeFede declined to respond specifically to Von Zamft, but did write a web column in which he said, "the shooting may very well have been prompted by my story."

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink