Miami-Dade authorities are offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest of the party responsible for killing a little boy after a stray bullet hit him while he was playing in his family’s courtyard.
FOX News reports that Carnell Williams-Thomas was hit by a stray bullet in Southwest Miami-Dade on Friday in a drive-by shooting. When officers arrived to the scene, the little boy was lying on the ground, wounded. He was rushed via helicopter to a local hospital, where he passed away from his injuries.
Tonight, a family was robbed of the chance to ever hold their baby again because of someone’s blatant disregard for human life. Any child falling victim to gun violence is a tragedy. But a toddler? When does it stop? Let’s keep this grieving family in our prayers.
— Alberto M. Carvalho (@MiamiSup) December 16, 2017
Residents said that shootings happen frequently and that the apartment complex’s management company aren’t properly taking care of the area, allegedly leaving the surveillance cameras broken and ineffective.
According to the Miami Herald, Carnelle was excited about learning how to ride a bike and was playing just as any other child would when the bullet struck him down at the Arthur Mays Villas public housing complex in Goulds. The incident occurred at around 6:20 p.m. at 21491 Southwest 114 Court.
Elected officials later made a heartfelt plea to anyone who knew about the shooting to come forward. During a press conference at Goulds Park, they stressed the heartbreak the family is enduring, which is intensified by not knowing who killed the child.
Who shot 2 year old Carnell Williams Thomas? @MiamiDadePD increased reward to $23K. @MDCrimeStoppers @wsvn #GunViolence #miamidade pic.twitter.com/0I8SA9IiM5
— Ann Keil (@ann_keil) December 16, 2017
“All I could picture was the mind of that child. The hope he had for the future,” Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said. “What was going through his mind as he took his last breath? That’s all I kept thinking about.”
“I’m so tired of going to funerals and helping families bury children in our community,” added president of the Greater Goulds Optimist Club,J.L. Demps Jr. “There are several people right now that you all know are nothing but problems in our community, and we’ve got to put these folks away.”
Some officials, including Miami-Dade County State Attorney. Katherine Fernandez Rundle, took to social media to plead for help.
“This is my plea to our community: Please, please, if you known something, anything, about this extremely tragic death of an innocent child, get on the phone and call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers immediately. We owe it to the family. Please.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or visit the official Crime Stoppers Miami website and click on “Submit a Tip.”
[Feature Photo: Carnell Williams-Thomas/Family Handout]