MIAMI — Three have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Florida pastor, who tragically lost his life last month while he was visiting a local shopping plaza and was struck by gunfire as a passerby.
Latravia Charm Bell, 20, Nathaniel Bernard Roberson, 31, and Mikal Tavares-Norman, 20, are now facing first-degree murder charges after surveillance footage captured them discharging numerous rounds of a firearm in The Village Flea Market and Mall parking lot. The incident is believed to be gang-related and was an “ambush” on four others present.
As previously reported, on Sept. 10, Gregory Boyd, who had pastored New Birth Harvest Outreach Ministries Churches of Deliverance for 20 years, was walking past the Shoe Time store and back to his car when gunfire suddenly rang out. Recorded video shows shoppers in the parking lot hiding behind cars for cover.
At least two bullets struck Boyd, who suffered injuries to the chest and leg, local television station WSVN reported.
Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, and Boyd was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where he soon died of his injuries.
“Any gun violence is not of God, but when a pastor is shot down, it cuts through the core of our community,” Carl Johnson, pastor of the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church and one of a number of concerned residents, told Local 10 news.
Police have been investigating the incident for the past month and have now been able to apprehend those responsible. According to the Miami Herald, Bell and Roberson have confessed to the participation in the crime. It is not known if Tavares-Norman has done so as well.
“This man of peace, the pastor of the New Birth Harvest Outreach Church, was senselessly cut down in a hail of bullets,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “While the prosecution of these three accused killers will not undo the pain his family and his church congregation have suffered, it will help restore a sense justice to our community.”
Boyd leaves behind his wife Dorothy of 23 years and three children, as well as a number of grandchildren. Members of the community have left kind words under a church Facebook post that announced his death.
“Pastor Boyd and his church family were there for me and my family in our deepest sorrow. Praying for his family and church family!” one commenter wrote.
“Pastor Boyd’s family, friends, and our community are in my prayers,” another stated.
As previously reported, at the time of the incident, local television station WPLG was on the scene covering another shooting that had occurred at the flea market in July, when seven-year-old Alana Washington lost her life due to a drive-by shooting.
Isaiah 59 speaks of the unsaved being prone to violence, outlining, “their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not, and there is no judgment in their goings. They have made them crooked paths; whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”
Psalm 34:14 simply exhorts, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”