Members of the Palmetto Bay Village Council and others gathered at Southwood Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 20, to dedicate a portion of SW 164th Street to Jaime Gough by renaming one of the street signs in his honor.
Jaime Gough was just 14 years old when he was killed at Southwood Middle School by a fellow student on Feb. 3, 2004.
Attending t7he street renaming were Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn, Councilmember Karyn Cunningham, District 8 County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Larry Feldman of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (District 9), MDPD PIO Argemis Colome, MDPD Lieutenant (Ret.) William Hellman, who worked the Jaime Gough case and MDPD Officer Andre Martin.
Martin, who was a good friend of Jaime and almost became a second victim of the killer, spoke at the ceremony.
“Today is not about how this young man passed away,” Martin said. “Instead it is a celebration of how he lived, and the lasting impression he made on our community. Jaime Gough was much more than just a great young man with a promising future. He was one of a kind.”
Martin, now a police officer, with a wife and children of his own, explained how the tragedy changed his life.
“My goal ever since that day is to take a phenomenally tragic event and turn it into something positive,” Martin said. “So in my particular case I did that by becoming an officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department and I go to work every day trying to make a positive effect in people’s lives.”
Also attending were Jaime’s father Jorge, his mother Maria and his sister Brenda.
Before the sign unveiling they released butterflies as a harpist played in the background. Jaime’s mother and father are both grateful for the community’s support over the years, and for the street re-naming.
“We know and feel that for the community stepping in like this, and for the loss of Jaime, I feel like Jaime is still alive,” Jorge Gough said.
Jaime’s mom, Maria Gough, also was deeply touched by the ceremony.
“I told many people this is a vitamin for me,” Maria said. “A vitamin for my soul. A vitamin to be strong to continue work for the community.”
Mayor Flinn spoke briefly at the event, before the unveiling.
“It was a grim example of how evil comes in many forms and that we as a community must take every conceivable measure to prevent this senseless violence,” Flinn said.
He later said, “More than 60 people were in attendance, friends and family. A touching event. It was a special moment when his family released a box of butterflies honoring the memory of their son.”