Gerard Albert and Joshua Ceballos/PantherNow Staff
Sweetwater has been struck with two shootings in the past 10 days, each one dangerously close to campus, and one of them leading to an unfortunate loss of life.
Around 2 a.m. Friday morning an unknown vehicle approached 17-year-old Gabriela Aldana in the shopping center on Coral Way and 118th Avenue. Someone inside the car fired several shots injuring Aldana, who died at Kendall Regional Medical Center later that morning. The car sped away from the Hookah Palace parking lot before police arrived according to Miami-Dade Police Department.
Police say an investigation is ongoing but they had no descriptions of a shooter or a car. But WSVN and the Miami Herald reported police believe three men in a black Mercedes-Benz may be involved.
On Saturday, May 18, at the Hookah Inn on 107th Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. police received reports of someone being shot. When they arrived on scene they found no evidence of a shooting victim. Police are not following any leads at the moment.
Both events occurred at separate hookah locations: The Hookah Inn on May 18, and the Hookah Palace on May 24. Miami Dade Police say there is not enough evidence on the first case to establish any connection between the two.
While the events did not occur on campus, FIU police are reminding students to stay vigilant and contact them if the have any tips. Both spots are located in busy shopping centers frequented by FIU students.
If you or anyone you know has any information related to these incidents, FIUPD encourages you to contact Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade at 305-471-TIPS (8477). In case of an emergency on FIU campuses call FIUPD at (305) 348-5911 or if not on FIU campuses please dial 9-1-1.