Three months after the Mills family lost their youngest son in what has been called one of the bloodiest shootings in Miami history, tragedy struck again Sunday afternoon outside their front door.
The similarities were striking: Again, a group was gathering outside to gamble. Again, a slew of young men were wounded by bullets from an AK-47. And again, community found itself choked by fear.
This time, five men were shot in a drive-by shooting outside the family home of Brandon Mills, the 16-year-old Miami Northwestern High School student who was killed during a craps game outside a corner store.
None of Sunday's victims sustained life-threatening injuries, police said, but the shooting served as a sad sequel to one of Liberty City's darkest episodes.
''This is a heartless act,'' said the Rev. Jerome Starling, a community leader who has been in close contact with the Mills family since the Jan. 23 shootout that left two dead and seven wounded.
``We're going to have to put this community on lockdown because these young people have no respect for life.''
The shooter was riding west about 4:50 p.m. in a silver or gray Monte Carlo when he fired at the group with an AK-47 -- the type of gun that killed Brandon -- at the house in the 2000 block of Northwest 71st Street, said Miami-Dade Police Det. Alvaro Zabaleta.
They wounded 23-year-old Alphonso Clar, 18-year-old Troy Jackson, 18-year-old Mike Alvin, 16-year-old Lamorris Moore and 17-year-old Marquis Mills. It was not yet clear whether any of the men were related. Three were taken to local hospitals, where they were listed in stable condition late Sunday.
Police said it was too early to know whether the drive-by shootings were an act of retaliation against the family -- a group of 13 that has cooperated with the police. Lasonya Mills, the family matriarch, did not immediately respond to telephone calls. Neighbors said she has been out of town for several days.
Mills watched her son, Brandon, die on a slab of asphalt on Jan. 23 outside Brewton's Grocery Store at Northwest 71st Street and 15th Avenue.
He was one of at least 50 who had gathered that Friday night for a bustling craps game. At least one armed man barged in and began shooting. The shooter or shooters wounded seven and killed Brandon and 18-year-old Derrick ''Termite'' Gloster.
Miami police, who are investigating the January shooting, have pleaded with the public to break through the ''no-snitch'' culture of the neighborhood and come forward with tips. They offered a $20,000 reward.
No arrests have been made.
Zabaleta urged witnesses to come forward to help police make an arrest in Sunday's shooting. But, again, the community found itself shaken.
''You're not getting my name,'' said one neighbor. ``I don't want them to shoot me, too.''
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