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Miami goes a month without murder
Posted on Sat, Nov. 01, 2008
BY DAVID OVALLE
Midnight Friday marked the end of October and the news from Miami’s homicide office was what didn’t happen.
No one was murdered.
October passed without a homicide — meaning for the first time since May 1966, an entire month went by in the city of Miami without someone succumbing violently.
”That’s an amazing thing,” said Miami Lt. John Buhrmaster, a longtime homicide investigator. “It’s a great record when people are not killing each other.”
The total actually stood at 35 days and counting. The last homicide: Sept. 26, the Overtown shooting death of Demetrius Sherman, 26.
Overall, Miami has notched 55 homicides in 2008. Last year, the overall number was 87.
As of late Friday, all county police agencies had logged 217 homicides.
Miami’s milestone isn’t to say detectives haven’t been working.
Homicide detectives investigate suicides, accidents and natural deaths where no doctor is available to sign a death certificate.
Just Friday, Miami’s homicide unit was tasked to investigate the deaths of three migrants who apparently drowned after jumping from a suspected smuggling ship off Virginia Key.
In Miami, they also investigate near homicides, like the Oct. 22 case of Coconut Grove bouncer Bobby Lee Porter, shot twice by his girlfriend’s brother, police say.
Two bullets pierced femoral arteries in both his legs. He lost massive amounts of blood — but Ryder Trauma Center doctors saved him.
Homicide detectives credit ever-improving emergency care with saving people who, perhaps 20 years ago, might have met their demise.
”It helps us tremendously,” said Miami Cmdr. Delrish Moss, a spokesman and former homicide investigator.
“They don’t become murder victim, they become witnesses and help us get the offenders off the streets.”