Calls for gun ban as youths die in Miami shootings

It was pretty much the classic school playground disagreement. John Kamel, 14, wanted his wristwatch back. Taunting John over his artificial leg, the school bully, also 14, refused to hand it over. But there were no old-fashioned fisticuffs. To make his point, the bully pulled a .38 pistol from his jacket and shot John Kamel dead.

Monday's school murder in West Palm Beach, Florida, was the 10th fatal shooting involving children or youth gangs in a week in the Miami area.

Just when south Florida felt it had rid itself of its Wild West image, the killings shocked local residents and led to calls by parents for a campaign against gun-carrying in low-income areas inhabited mainly by blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities.

The first of the latest spate of killings was on 20 January, while Miami joined the rest of the country in celebrating Martin Luther King day. Five-year-old Rickia Issac was walking home from a parade with older friends when she was hit in the head by a stray bullet fired by teenage gang members in the Miami ghetto, ironically known as Liberty City. She was declared brain dead and her family opted to turn off her life support machine three days later.

The next day, Tuesday, five young men were found bound, gagged and shot dead, execution-style, in another Miami ghetto known as Model City. Police said the flat where they died had been used as a distribution centre for marijuana.

Later that day, shots rang out in the upmarket Coral Gables area of Miami, near the well-known Miracle Mile shopping centre, and teenager Guillermo Bolanos fell dead. Police said he had been shot from a passing black car but that they did not know the motive, if any.

On Saturday, Annie Jackson, a 28-year-old mother of five, was hit in the head and mortally wounded by a stray bullet apparently fired by gang members in Miami's Little River district. She was carrying her five-month old son at the time but the child escaped with only bruises as he fell. Police said the gunfire was between two young gangs competing over drug distribution in the neighbourhood.

Last Sunday, a young man with a gun walked in on a backroom dominoes game in an area north of Miami and opened fire on the players. One man died and three were wounded. Police do not yet know why.

After Monday's West Palm Beach school murder, police arrested 14-year- old Tronneal Mangum, a black youth described by schoolmates as a bully who had been taunting John Kamel, who was of Egyptian origin.

"Tronneal is not the demon people are making him out to be," his mother said yesterday. "He is a fun-loving child, one of eight. He loves to go fishing. I don't know where he got the gun. I don't allow guns in my house."


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Norwegian Speaking Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester...

IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

Learning Support Assistants-Nantwich area

£8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...

Primary Teachers-Northwich area

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Teachers- Northwich Ar...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London