Woman says she watched her father die outside Opa-locka business

The daughter of a man who was fatally shot outside his Opa-locka business said she watched her father die.

“Shots just came out of nowhere,” Gabrielle Gonzalez said Thursday, as she recalled the shooting that claimed her father’s life.

Surveillance video shows two men shooting into a parked car outside 2155 Opa-locka Blvd., killing Joe Gonzalez.

“My dad wasn’t the type to be in (any) drama,” Gabrielle Gonzalez said. “He wasn’t that type.”

Gabrielle Gonzalez was sitting in the car with her 1-year-old son when bullets started flying.

“He was in my lap,” she said. “I tucked him under the steering wheel.”

Gabrielle Gonzalez said she and her father were just talking when the first shot was fired.

Surveillance video from a nearby pawn shop shows the shooters running away down Opa-locka Boulevard.

Gabrielle Gonzalez said she’s confident that the killers who took her father and her son’s grandfather away will be caught.

“I know they are,” she said. “They are going to catch them. They are. I don’t know how long. I don’t know if it’s going to be today or tomorrow or a few weeks, but they are.”

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Father of 7 shot, killed in Opa-locka, family members say

A man was shot and killed early Wednesday at his business in Opa-locka, family members told Local 10 News.

Police confirmed that a shooting was reported at 2:09 a.m. at 2155 Opa-Locka Blvd.

Police said a man was found dead inside a vehicle. A woman and a 1-year-old child were also inside the vehicle, but they were unharmed, authorities said.

The victim was identified by family as Jose Gonzalez Jr., a 47-year-old father of seven.  

“They called us at the house (and said) there was a shooting and my son was — he was the one that got hit,” Gonzalez’s father, Jose Gonzalez Sr., said. 

Relatives said the victim ran a shop in Opa-locka, installing sound systems in cars.

“He’s always working nonstop, and his passion, what he loves to do is working on cars and sound,” Gonzalez Jr.’s sister, Geeleen Gonzalez, said.

Investigators said Gonzalez Jr., his daughter, Gabrielle Gonzalez, 20, and his 1-year-old grandson were inside a car outside of his business when someone walked up to them.

Police said Gonzalez Jr. spoke to the person who then left, before a second person came by, spoke to Gonzalez Jr. as well, and then also left.

Police said both people returned to the vehicle and opened fire, killing Gonzalez Jr.

The shooting has left his family stunned and heartbroken.

“You took away, not only a father, you took away a son, a brother, an uncle, a hardworking man that loved his family and did everything for his family no matter what,” Geeleen Gonzalez said. 

A motive for the shooting is unknown.

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

 

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Youth football coach remembers teen killed in drive-by shooting

Youth football Coach Darrell Streeter was saddened to learn that one of his players was killed over the weekend in Opa-locka.

Police are still searching for the gunman who shot Terrell Thomas, 17, on Sunday.

“For someone that young to lose their life — it’s horrible,” Streeter said.  

Streeter runs Footballville, a local sports media company and mentorship program that helps guide local youngsters through football. 

“That’s why I’m out here in the community,” Streeter said. 

Streeter met Thomas through the program. 

Police said Thomas was killed Sunday afternoon when a drive-by shooter opened fire along Northwest 140th Street.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found several casings on the ground, but no sign of the victim. 

Thomas was later found at a hospital, but he died soon after. 

An emotional tribute to Thomas took place during a candlelight vigil in honor of the teen.

“So much more life to live. It kills me,” Streeter said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.  

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Girl caught in middle of custody battle returns to mom’s arms

After disappearing with his 4-year-old daughter without notifying her mother, Joel Delgado told police officers he did it because he was in the middle of a parental custody battle. 

Lidice Miramontes told police officers Delgado picked up their daughter Joelys from her home in Opa-locka Sept. 30, and he was supposed to return her on Monday.

The detectives investigating the child abduction released his identity asking for the public’s help Friday. Once Delgado found out his picture was all over the news, he decided to explain his whereabouts. 

“He called the police and said ‘Listen, I have my daughter and I want to give you the address to show you that I haven’t done anything mischievous,'” Opa-locka Chief James Dobson said. 

Dobson said they found Delgado in the area of St. Petersburg and recovered the little girl to be reunited with her distraught mother Saturday. 

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Charter school allows students to get creative through tech, art, song, dance

A new charter school in Opa-locka is offering students the chance to succeed in the classroom by combining the arts with traditional class subjects.

Students say the Arts Academy of Excellence Charter School gives them the tools to dream big for the future.

Ajaylon Peoples, who is in the sixth grade, is currently tackling a robotics class, but it’s visual arts that has his heart.

“Arts has been my talent and I like doing it,” Ajaylon said.

For Trinity Cason, it’s dance class that keeps her happy.

“It’s my thing,” she said. “I don’t like other jobs. I want to express my talents.”

This is the first year for the sixth-grade through ninth-grade arts and technology school.

Teachers said they feel they are filling a void for their students.

“All of the schools offer reading arts language arts, such as we do. What makes our school special and differentiates our school from other schools is the focus of cultural arts and performing arts,”  Marjorie Scott, dean of students, said.

Dance teacher Anita Hope is a veteran dancer and teacher. She knows what she teaches in the studio fills so many roles in real life.

“It brings more opportunities than dance — it teaches them discipline, it teaches them structure, but it also gives them an opportunity to first learn what dance is all about,so history about them, some culture,” she said.

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Opa-locka police officer arrested on aggravated battery charge

An Opa-locka police officer was arrested Monday night in the city of Miami, authorities said.Opa-locka Police Chief James Dobson confirmed that Officer Stanley Jean-Francois has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the c…

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