Aventura Fla April 7 2012 In the nearly 30 years since it was built in 1983, the sprawling Aventura Mall had been the scene of just one suicide.
But in the last few weeks, three people have killed themselves at mall parking garages, including a woman who leapt to her death on Thursday — an alarming uptick in fatalities for the upscale shopping center, which boasts a considerable security effort according to local police.
“If somebody wants to kill themselves… there’s no rhyme no reason,” Aventura Police Major Skip Washa told HuffPost Miami, noting that the mall employees off-duty officers as well as additional security on bikes and golf carts. “There’s no way to really try to prevent that.”
An unidentified Hispanic woman in her mid-40s jumped to her death from the parking garage Thursday, Washa said. According to the Miami Herald, a witness spotted the woman around 2:30 p.m. and was unable to talk her out of jumping.
The woman was not carrying any form of identification, and her fingerprints did not come up in the system, Washa said. Investigators are now trying to identify her through missing persons reports.
Two suicides at the mall last month happened within days. On March 14, 21-year-old nursing student Morvin Andre jumped from the parking garage to evade loss prevention officers from Bloomingdales, leading his death to be ruled a suicide. At his funeral, a gang-related drive-by killed 2 people and injured another 12, one of the bloodiest mass shootings in Miami-Dade history.
Days later on March 19, a 15-year-old boy committed suicide by jumping from the parking garage in the wee hours of the morning.
Washa said that a security video showed the boy hiding when people walked by, waiting for them to leave, and finally jumping.
The first of the four suicides at Aventura happened several years ago when according to Washa a man broke from police custody and jumped off the parking garage.
Miami Fla April 1 2012 Gunmen fired a barrage of bullets at a crowd of mourners who were gathered Friday night at a North Miami-area funeral home, injuring 12 people and killing two, according to Miami-Dade police..
The gunmen remained on the loose early Saturday.
Witnesses said one of the two killed was shot in the chest.
The funeral was for Morvin Andre, 21, of North Miami, killed in a March 18 shooting, according to witnesses. He was buried at nearby Southern Memorial Park Saturday morning.
On Friday night more than 100 people were gathered outside the funeral home.
“I was on my way out of the chapel when I heard the shots,“ said A.D. Lenoir, the pastor who officiated at the service. “I told people to look for cover. It was chaos.”
Lenoir, 29, said people were screaming, crying and yelling.
“It hurts me that after such a moving and stirring message, this happens,” Lenoir said, “a shooting at a shooting-victim’s funeral.”
Three of Friday’s victims were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, according to reports, and several more went to other areas hospitals. One victim reportedly was a child, shot in the leg.
As mourners were gathered at about 9 p.m. outside the funeral home, Funeraria Latina Emanuel, a car drove by and at least one person inside the vehicle fired shots at the crowd, reportedly with a high-powered weapon. Yellow police tape surrounded the funeral home and surrounding crime scene.
The shooting happened outside North Miami city limits in the 14900 block of West Dixie Highway. The area is just southwest of Florida International University’s north campus. Several funeral homes and a cemetery are in the busy area, as well as stores and restaurants.
Miami-Dade police were on the shooting scene.
The West Dixie Highway corridor has been the scene of several shootings in recent years. In 2007, the owner of a martial arts studio was fatally gunned down in a drive-by.
Police are looking for six men, who were in a white 2006 or 2009 Pontiac or Impala, according to WSVN-TV. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.