Homicide victim identified as Miami Norland Senior High football coach

Homicide victim identified as Miami Norland Senior High football coach

Students and staffers at a South Florida school are mourning a beloved football coach who was the victim of a shooting in Opa-locka.

Keon Bernard Smith, the quarterbacks coach at Miami Norland Senior High School in Miami Gardens, was killed early Monday in the area of Northwest 132nd Street and Northwest 28th Avenue.

Miami-Dade Police said the incident happened shortly before 1 a.m. when Opa-locka Police officers responding to reports of a shooting found the victim suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded and pronounced him dead the scene.

Smith, 49, was remembered by his uncle as have a true passion for football.

“All the young guys looked up to him, I mean every time, he’d been coaching for a long time and some of the guys he coached made it to the pros,” Black said.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials said crisis counselors were at the school on Monday. At graduation on Tuesday, a moment of silence was held to honor him.

The school posted a message about Smith on Instagram early Tuesday.

“On behalf of Principal Gaines-Miller, Coach Heidelburg, the Miami Norland Senior High School family, and the entire football team, we’d like to offer the family of Coach Keon Smith our deepest condolences. It was truly an honor to work alongside him as a coach, mentor, and leader,” the message said. “You will be truly missed in Viking Nation.”

Police are investigating but said they had no suspect information.

Smith’s uncle thinks police know who they are looking for, but they’re hoping he comes forward.

“Turn yourself in buddy, turn yourself in, because you took a life and you took a life of somebody well liked. And I really don’t know what happened but it’s not worth it. Turn yourself in,” Black said.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.