Family mourning loss of Jamaican-American student in shooting death
Family and friends are mourning the loss of 23-year-old Jamaican-American Alexandra Dean who was caught in the crossfire of gun shots while attending a house birthday party in Miami Gardens last Saturday night. Miami Gardens police are actively investigating the shooting death.
Dean, who recently graduated from the nursing degree program at Nova Southeastern University, had arrived at the party at 40 NE 212 Terrace when a fight erupted outside the house. During the fight someone fired shots, killing Dean shortly before 9 p.m.
Maxine Terrelong, a Miami Garden resident, bemoaned the “senseless killing” of Dean and other young people in the city. “She was out at a party, just enjoying life, and a bullet ended her promising life.”
Dean’s mother, Pauline Dean, who was attending her father’s funeral in Jamaica when she received news of her daughter’s death, said “It’s devastating and difficult to come to terms that Alex has been killed.” Dean said her daughter was very committed to her goal to be a nurse. “She studied hard for her recent exams, and I often told her to focus on her education, study hard, eat, and rest. I was surprised she was at a party and was shot, but learned she was influenced to attend the party by a friend.” Mrs. Dean said Alexandra lived with her and her father, Raymond, in their Miami Gardens home, and when she looks at her daughter’s photo “the pain is unbearable.”
One of Dean’s former class mates at Nova, giving her name only as Twiggy, said “Alexandra was the last person I would imagine to be killed violently. She was quiet, no-nonsense, really focused on being a nurse. I can only say she was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Terrelong said the Miami Gardens Police Department under leadership of new chief, Antonio Brooklen, has “worked very hard to control crime, but the bad guys just keep on turning up.”
Father Horace Ward, Rector of the Holy Family Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens, who also serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee with Chief Brooklen, says he has seen data showing the city’s crime situation has improved steadily in recent years, “compared to neighboring cities.” Rev. Ward said the police department has been active in engaging citizens positively, and training officers to relate citizens and community organizations. “However, the shooting death of Miss Dean, seemingly a very promising young woman, is very unfortunate and unnecessary.”
Yvette Benjamin, a member of the Holy Family congregation said Dean’s mother was a cousin who migrated from Manchester, Jamaica several years ago and was dedicated to raising her children including Alexandra positively. “She was doing a great job; now she has to endure this great loss.”