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She dropped off her teenage son to visit a friend. She went to pick up a few things at the store before it closed. When Juwan Downes’ mother returned mere minutes later, he was dead.
It’s been one week since the 19 year old was shot to death, and the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau is still looking for answers.
In the pouring rain on Thursday afternoon, detectives and officers went door to door in the Pinewood neighborhood where Downes was shot. Neighbors in the area of Northwest 108th Street and Eighth Avenue told police they heard gunshots, but had anyone seen anything, police asked?
“We need people to come to forward,” said detective Jonathan Sabel, the lead detective on the case. “It was a Thursday night. There were people outside. This is a close, tight-knit community.”
MDPD Major George Perez said the group of around 15 officers planned on knocking on doors through the rain until they passed out all 175 fliers, which included Downes’ photo and details about a reward. Officers also hung hundreds of door hangers, which also offered a reward for tips on the murder.
“One [murder] is too many,” Perez said. “We’re out here working with community partners and the parents of these kids.”
At one house, MDPD detective Argemis Colome, officer Camille Normil and officer Dominique Narcisse knocked on a door only to find three children inside. Their mother could not come to the door, but the oldest son took a flier anyway.
“Wait, I think I know him,’ the boy said, looking at Downes’ picture as he closed the door.
Last Thursday, police responded to the house at around 10:45 p.m. after they received a call of a “person down.” Downes’ friend’s family was home at the time of the shooting.
Outside the house was a post, surrounded on all sides by prayer candles, teddy bears, a bottle of brandy and laminated notes.
Downes lived in North Miami-Dade, and attended D.A. Dorsey Technical College.
At the top of the post was a photo of Downes, wearing an ACDC shirt and holding up two fingers into a peace sign.
Anyone with information about Downes’ murder is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477) Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward up to $3,000.