A man driving his mother to work on I-95 just west of Miami Shores was shot several times early Friday morning before exiting the highway and driving himself to the hospital.
The shooting is not far from where a 22-year-old Florida International University graduate was shot and killed almost a year ago as she drove with her boyfriend to visit her sick grandfather in the hospital.
The injured man, who WPLG Channel 10 identified as 25-year-old Julien Charles, managed to drive himself to North Shore Medical Center and was later transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho said Charles was shot in the stomach area and the arm and that his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
Charles’ mother Blair Charles said the shooter was close enough that she could hear the popping of the weapon and that her son was shot at least four times. That jibed with the information that FHP investigators had gathered by mid afternoon. Camacho said the gunfire appears to have come from another vehicle on the highway. The Blairs were headed south on the Interstate.
“We know it was close, based on the way the projectiles entered the vehicle,” said the lieutenant.
Camacho said investigators have few leads and Julien Charles, who remained in the hospital Friday afternoon, had not yet been interviewed by law enforcement.
Blair Charles said they didn’t see the shooter because they ducked below window level once they realized it was gunfire.
“He brings me to work every day,” she told WPLG. “But it’s a shock to see something like this on 95.”
It was just over a year ago that Melissa Gonzalez, 22, a CVS pharmacy technician, was shot and killed on I-95 just north of the 79th Street exit as she drove her boyfriend Julian Veliz, 26, to visit her sick grandfather at Mt. Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach. Veliz, who was not shot, miraculously managed to climb over his girlfriend and steer the car until it came to a stop.
Police never publicly acknowledged a motive for the shooting and the shooter still remains at large. They believe the fatal bullet came from inside a dark car with dark tires and tinted windows.