The devastating incident occurred at a short-rental home, where a birthday party was being organized for the victim and his sister.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of gun violence and murder that may be disturbing to readers.
A three-year-old boy named Elijah LaFrance was shot and killed at a birthday party that took place during the weekend in Miami. According to ABC News, the Miami-Dade Police Department said its officers responded to a Shotspotter on Saturday night at around 8 p.m. ET. after the gunshot detection system notified the team about the incident. When cops arrived at a home on Northeast 158th Street in Golden Glades, they found 3-year-old Elijah LaFrance suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The cop immediately put him in their car and rushed to the hospital but he'd succumbed to his injuries by then.
SEEKING INFORMATION: On 4/24/21, Elijah LaFrance was killed in the area of N. Miami Avenue & NE 158 Street. Anyone with information is urged to contact @CrimeStopper305 at (305) 471-8477 or by dialing **TIPS. pic.twitter.com/gNtJF9OUjH— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) April 26, 2021
A 21-year-old is also said to have been shot at the party, but she is expected to make a full recovery. Family members told NBC 6 the party was for him and his little sister. Initial investigations reveal that an altercation took outside the house, which is a short-term rental where the birthday party was taking place, per Daily Mail. The fight resulted in shots being fired, and soon after, the shooter fled the scene. Witness Kevin Golden revealed he was backing out of his driveway around 8 p.m. on Saturday when he heard the shots fired. "A barrage of gunfire, went on for a good 30 seconds, at least 40 or 50 probably," Golden said, per NBC Miami.
HELP US CATCH A MURDERER! Segment - 10🚨 Our Homicide Bureau detectives need your help to solve the murder of 3-year-old Elijah LaFrance that occurred on 4/24/21 in the area of N. Miami Avenue & NE 158 Street. #TogetherWeCan— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) April 26, 2021
🎥: https://t.co/BUK1UK4ZD2 pic.twitter.com/yvfhne9OHW
"I saw a car right here at the end of my driveway. There was an individual outside of the car with an assault rifle firing in this direction of course." Officials report that the shooter is still at large. "They killed him. Oh God, he is still on my mind. I was just playing with him," said the boy’s devastated uncle, Adrian Annestor, who was at the party. "I wish it could have been me because I’ve lived long enough. He couldn’t even say mom and dad," he said, per CBS Miami. Neighbor Zobop, who lives just a house down also expressed his grief, saying, "How you gonna go and you see a party with children inside and you open fire on them. You are nothing but a coward. You are a coward."
Please find the killer or killers !!— MARIE CHERLINE MULLE (@mmuller8566) April 26, 2021
Zobop walked outside just moments before shots were fired. "I, soon as I walked outside, I saw this white truck driving by slow. I didn’t pay attention to it because it’s normal. My sister was outside with me and next thing we know, 'bam, bam, bam.' We heard the shots fired. A tree blocked my view but my neighbor across the street he saw everything when a man pulled the machine gun and started shooting," he said. Zobop’s neighbor added that shots hit his car and home. "Lots of fires. It sounded like a series of firecrackers. More than 30 rounds I heard. And then I saw a person running to a car and then a car took off high speed and two more cars followed all going east," the neighbor added.
Crime Stoppers call centers are available 24/7 - Call 305 471-8477 to speak with a person or web tip https://t.co/fTWbLSTsjM. We never know who you are; you are anonymous. You don't tell us personal info about yourself -- Just the details about the crime. pic.twitter.com/KvUgrp1Sbd— Crime Stoppers Miami & FL Keys (@CrimeStopper305) April 25, 2021
Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez said those responsible for the shooting will be found and held accountable. He also expressed his condolences to the family of the boy. The police department announced they are offering a $15,000 reward for anyone with any leads about the shooter. They have not given out any information regarding the shooter as the investigation is still ongoing, though. The tweet reads: Our detectives are working around the clock, using all available resources, to solve the murder of 3-year-old Elijah LaFrance. We are out in the community handing out flyers, asking for any possible leads. If you have any information, please contact @crimestopper305 305-471-8477.
Our detectives are working around the clock, using all available resources, to solve the murder of 3-year-old Elijah LaFrance. We are out in the community handing out flyers, asking for any possible leads. If you have any information, please contact @crimestopper305 305-471-8477. pic.twitter.com/9eoIyYe0HL— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) April 25, 2021