$10,000 reward offered for information about shooting that injured teenage girl

Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person who shot a 15-year-old girl this week in northwest Miami-Dade.

The shooting was reported just after midnight Monday at an apartment complex at 5000 NW 24th Ave.

Miami-Dade police said Shanetta Gilbert, Christopher Jackson and Michael Clarke, all 15, were sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex when shots were fired.

Gilbert was shot in the back. Her mother told Local 10 News reporter Neki Mohan that the bullet went out through Gilbert’s stomach.

Authorities said a man, identified as Jonathon Bryant, 22, was driving east on Northwest 50th Street when the shooting happened and his car was struck by bullets.

Police said Bryant drove in reverse to get away, but lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a fence at the apartment complex.

Police said his passenger, Shermaine Arnold, 22, was struck in the forehead with glass debris.

Arnold and Gilbert were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. Arnold was listed in stable condition at the hospital and Gilbert was listed in critical condition.

Gilbert’s mother told Local 10 News that her daughter was stable after undergoing surgery.

A motive for the shooting is unknown.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

Follow this story

Florida Gov. oks end to tampon tax, approves 2 tax holidays

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a $180 million tax cut package that will eliminate taxes charged on tampons and will create two sales tax holidays that will be held over the next three months.

Scott approved the bill even though state legislators gave the Republican governor far less than what he had initially asked for in January.

“Every time we cut taxes, we are encouraging businesses of all sizes to create opportunities for families across the state and more money is put back in taxpayers’ pockets,” said Scott in a statement.

The tax cut package creates a three-day “back-to-school” tax holiday in August where residents can purchase tax-free clothes that cost $60 or less. The tax holiday, which will be held Aug. 4 through Aug. 6, will also cover school supplies costing $15 or less and computers that cost $750 or less.

There will also be a three-day period during the first weekend in June to allow residents to purchase storm preparation supplies tax-free. Batteries, flashlights, portable generators costing $750 or less are on the list of items that will be exempt from Florida’s 6 percent sales tax.

Starting in January, the new law will make feminine hygiene products such as tampons and menstrual pads tax-exempt. Florida is joining 13 states and the District of Columbia that exempt taxes on the sale of feminine hygiene products or have enacted laws to exempt these products in the future.

“This common sense legislation will result in a tax savings for women all over the state who purchase these necessary products,” said Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, the Naples Republican who pushed for the exemption.

Scott had initially asked the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature to pass a hefty $618 million tax cut package that included a 25 percent reduction in the sales tax charged on commercial rents. Scott also wanted the “back-to-school” sales tax holiday to last 10 days and he wanted a three-day sales tax holiday for military veterans. The governor also asked for a one-year elimination of sales taxes charged on college textbooks.

Legislators ignored, or greatly scaled back Scott’s recommendations. They decided to cut the sales tax on commercial rent by only 3 percent.

Republican legislators rejected a Scott plan to use a rise in local property taxes to pay for an increase to public schools. Instead they put together a new state budget that calls for a slight cut in local property taxes that go to schools. They also placed on the 2018 ballot a measure that would increase the state’s homestead exemption for property taxes if approved by voters.

Scott, however, has hinted he may veto the budget, which would force legislators back to the state capital later this year.

Follow this story

Several people robbed at gunpoint on beach behind Fontainebleau

Several people were robbed at gunpoint Saturday night as they hung out on the beach directly behind the Fontainebleau, police said.

The Miami Beach Police Department said the group was at the beach shortly before midnight when two men between the ages of 20 and 30 approached them with guns.

One of the men said, “This is a robbery — give us your phones,” while pointing his gun at the victims, police said.

Two of the victims gave their belongings to the thieves, police said, while two others dropped their phones while running for safety. One of the victims also had her wallet stolen.

Police said one of the victims was able to get away, hide under a boardwalk and call 911.

Police said two of the victims in the robbery were juveniles.

Police said one of the thieves was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt that said “Thrasher” on the front and dark pants. The other was wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, with possible gray striping down the sleeves, and dark long pants.

Police said both men had their hoods pulled down, covering the majority of their faces.

Anyone with information about the robbery can call local law enforcement.

Follow this story

Loved ones search for answers after kills 2 teens

Embracing each other in grief, family and friends gathered Thursday to mourn the loss of two teens who were killed in a crash over the weekend.

David Stewart, 17, and Mi’chael Miles,17, both died in a vehicle that  was driven by their friend Milton Davis, 18.

“I know that my baby is in heaven,” David’s mother  said.

Lying in intensive care at the hospital Davis said he’s still processing his friends’ deaths  and the fact he survived.

“I don’t feel right, at all,” Davis said.

Davis said  says he remembers driving onto Northwest 27th Avenue near Northwest 199th Street  on Sunday night when they crashed with another vehicle.

That driver also survived the crash.

On Thursday hundreds of people wore white in honor of the victims.

“We’re in denial,” Darlene Holland, Mile’s teacher, said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation and those close to the teens said they are waiting to find out what happened that night.

 

Follow this story