The family of a woman who, police said, became the third person to die in the mass shooting outside a banquet hall in Northwest Miami-Dade, remembered the victim as a caring mother and called on the community to come forward with information about the gunmen responsible.
Miami-Dade Police said 32-year-old Shaniqua L. Peterson died four days after she was one of 23 people shot outside El Mula Banquet Hall, early Sunday morning.
Her family said a bullet was lodged in her head as she fought for her life in the hospital.
At around 3 p.m. on Thursday, loved ones received the call letting them know she didn’t make it.
“I didn’t believe it,” said her older brother, who asked not to be identified or show his face on camera
Peterson leaves behind a 12-year-old son.
“It’s going to be hard for him to go on every day throughout the rest of his life knowing his momma’s not there,” said her older brother.
Her grandmother, who also did not want her face shown on camera, spoke to 7News about her heartbreak.
“Whoever did this, they took a beautiful person, inside and out, totally beautiful,” she said.
Loved ones are keeping Peterson’s memory alive.
“Remember her smile, remember her energy, remember the jokes that she used to tell, remember that funny laugh that she had,” said her older brother.
Peterson’s older brother has strong words for the people behind the shooting.
“You people are killing each other for what? For fame, reputation, so somebody can say that you’re tough?” he said. “No, that makes you a coward. Only cowards kill people for no reason.”
Peterson’s older brother said the loss is made even more difficult because it happened just a few weeks before her birthday on June 18.
“It don’t make sense,” he said.
The other two victims have been identified as Desmond Owens and Clayton Dillard, both 26.
Twenty other people were also injured after, police said, four gunmen opened fire outside the banquet hall along the 7600 block of Northwest 186th Street, early Sunday morning. The venue was hosting a concert at the time of the incident.
Three of the subjects were seen getting out of a white Nissan Pathfinder moments before, police said, they opened fire into the crowd.
Another surveillance video showed the fourth gunman shooting from a different angle.
On Thursday, family members of Dillard and Owen called on the public for help.
“Y’all know something. No snitching leads to no conviction,” said Schkena Bruton, Owen’s aunt. “I know the streets, and the streets say, ‘Snitches get stitches,’ but guess what: if you don’t snitch, there will be no conviction. We need a conviction for those who are responsible for innocent people out enjoying themselves caught up in senseless violence.”
Owen leaves behind two children.
Melanie Bruton, Owen’s mother, on Thursday visited a growing memorial where the shooting occurred.
“No parent should have to bury a child. That’s it. No parent should have to bury a child. It don’t go that way; it don’t work like that,” she said.
Police said the gunmen ditched the Pathfinder in a North Miami-Dade canal. Officers later recovered the vehicle.
Investigators said they are working all available leads, as they continue their search for the gunmen.
The shooting took place on the same week MDPD launched Operation Summer Heat, a 12-week plan that aims to combat an increase in violent crime in the county. It’s a collaboration between law enforcement agencies on the state, local and federal level.
As for the families of the victims in Sunday’s shooting, they said they are counting on someone knowing who these killers are.
“If y’all want it to end, step up. If y’all are tired of it, step up. The devil is out here, man,” said Peterson’s older brother. “The only way we’re going to stop the devil is if we start to do something about it. We need to come together as a people.”
“The gun violence in Miami-Dade is out of control,” said Peterson’s grandmother. “It’s not right, and anybody that knows something needs to step up and say something.”
Violation notices have been posted on the front of the banquet hall building as of Friday, including one about electrical work being done without a permit.
As of late Friday night, no arrests have been made.
There is a reward of up to $130,000 for information that leads to an arrest of the killers responsible.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for the reward.