3-Year-Old Elijah LaFrance Fatally Shot at His Own Birthday Party in Miami Suburb
Miami-Dade Police learned that the shooting unraveled Saturday just after 8 p.m. during the young boy's birthday party at an Airbnb rental in Golden Gables.
A 3-year-old lost his life over the weekend during a drive-by shooting at his own birthday party and Miami-Dade Police are still looking for the person responsible, authorities said in a press release. The toddler was rushed to the hospital where he died of his injuries, and a 21-year-old woman was also caught in the gunfire but is reportedly in stable condition, cops said.
Police say the shooting unraveled Saturday just after 8 p.m. during the young boy's birthday party at an Airbnb rental in Golden Gables, NBC 6 reported. When officers arrived, they found Elijah LaFrance, 3, and the adult woman both suffered gunshot wounds.
Family members told the outlet that the party was for little Elijah and his younger sister.
“They killed him. Oh God, he is still on my mind. I was just playing with him,” the boy’s relative Adrian Annestor, who was at the party, told CBS Miami. “I wish it could have been me because I’ve lived long enough. He couldn’t even say mom and dad,” he said.
“People were running, so we ducked behind his truck and some people ran and hid behind these two trucks,” neighbor Marc Anderson told Local10 News.
He told the outlet that he heard between 20 and 30 shots fired before bystanders took cover.
Police are still looking for the shooter or shooters, who fled the scene.
“As a father and as a member of this community, I am completely devastated. I’m disgusted,” Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez told reporters. “We talk about accountability. When are we going to hold ourselves accountable for what’s going on in our streets each and every day? This is ridiculous.”
“There are no words to describe the immense loss & anger our community is feeling. We will do everything we can to bring this murderer to justice & we must stand together to demand an end to this cycle of tragedy," Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted after the shooting.
This is not the first time a toddler was killed during a shooting in Miami-Dade. This January, 6-year-old Chaussidy Sanders was leaving a birthday party when she was caught in a crossfire, Inside Edition Digital previously reported. She died at the hospital later that evening. There were no arrests made in that shooting.
Last year, 7-year-old Alana Washington died after she was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting, the Miami Herald reported. She was left brain dead and removed from life support two days later, according to the outlet. Two men were arrested in connection to that killing.
Miami-Dade police have previously said that none of the children were the intended targets during any of the shootings.
A request for comment to the Miami-Dade Police Department regarding all three incidences was not immediately returned.
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