MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – During the last three years, shootings in Miami-Dade County have killed six children: 4-year-old Rahkel Carr, 6-year-old King Carter, 7-year-old Amiere Castro, 8-year-old Jada Page and 10-year-olds Marlon Eason and Aaron Vu.
Last year’s funerals had the type of themes that would be appropriate for children’s birthday parties. Jada liked emoticons, so there were “Happy Face” balloons. King was a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so teens dressed up as the superheroes and showed up to say good bye.
Gun violence in Miami-Dade kills more teens during 2016
If the trend remains this year, gun violence will likely continue to kill black boys and teenagers disproportionately in Miami-Dade, as it has during the last three years, according to data from the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office.
From 2013 to 2016, the majority of the gun homicide victims, who were 18 or younger when they died, not only shared the same race. They also shared the same gender. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office reported 80 out of the 94 gun homicide victims, who were ages 18 and under, were black males.
The data on children and teenagers in Miami-Dade County is in accordance with the effects that gun violence has on black adults nationwide. According to a Columbia University researchers’ analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000-2010 data, blacks are more than twice as likely to die from gun violence than whites.
Drive-by shootings in residential areas near William H. Turner Technical Arts High School and Miami Central Senior High School in Northwest Miami-Dade were to blame for the deaths of 2016’s youngest victims. A girl and a boy were among three dozen Miami-Dade gun homicide victims, who were ages 19 and under.
Jada’s killers are still free. But when detectives solved King’s case, the Miami-Dade County Police Department learned challenges with conflict resolution and bravado over social media posts were to blame. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office charged three teens with murder.
Teenage males were also more often the victims during 2016. The data shows only four of the 2016 victims of gun violence, who were ages 19 and under, were females. The four were killed in shootings linked to other male victims.
This year when 8-year-old Jada Page was shot, her dad was wounded. When 16-year-old Janet Francis was shot dead, a 28-year-old man was killed. When 18-year-old Antquinsha Flowers was killed, a 17-year-old male was shot nearby. Nuckeria Harris died in a domestic violence incident. The 19-year-old woman’s dad also killed her mom and 17-year-old brother Corey Johnson.