A 9-year-old girl was shot during a robbery in a northeast Miami-Dade park last night, marking at least the sixth time a child has been shot in the county in the last three months.
Officers responded to a robbery call at Oak Grove Park on NE 159th Street about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday night to find little Vaillant Ricquina suffering a gunshot wound to the upper thigh.
A man inside the park told detectives he had been robbed by two men who then fired four shots as they fled, missing the man but striking Ricquina.
“It appears she was an innocent bystander at the time the robbery occurred,” Miami-Dade police spokesperson Robin Pinkard told CBS Miami.
The assailants allegedly took Jacques Noel's phone, keys, and $15 in cash before opening fire, Noel told CBS.
"It's crazy that people come out here to work out and we have little kids getting shot," witness Thomas Jean-Bart told WSVN. "It's getting out of control."
Ricquina was rushed to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, where she is expected to survive.
An anonymous tip led police to a nearby apartment where they found suspect Vladimir Corrierus, 19, hiding under clothes in his closet. Corrierus was charged with armed robbery and aggravated battery; his alleged accomplice is still at large.
The gunfire follows on the heels of the fatal shooting of 10-year-old Aaron Vu at his father's Miami nail salon last Friday. A week prior, a sleeping 9-year-old boy was shot in the face during a drive-by in Overtown.
In nearby Miami Gardens, an 11-year-old girl was shot November 7 by a man who fired into her home; 8th-grader Nevilisha Francis was shot inside her house in October when bullets flew from a nearby alley; and 12-year-old Tequila Forshee was fatally struck in the head by a stray bullet while she was getting her hair braided in her grandmother's living room for the first day of school.