Friends pay tribute to slain Miami poet

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From NBC Miami

More than 100 friends of slain poet Willie Lee Bell, Jr. gathered outside his Literary Café and Poetry Lounge in North Miami on Monday evening to pay tribute to him.

He was gunned down after closing the café Saturday night on 125th Street in North Miami.

Bell, who performed as “Will Da Real One,” and appeared on Def Poetry Jam, was shot multiple times as he closed up the cafe around 12:40 a.m. Police say a car pulled up beside him and a passenger opened fire before the car sped off.

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The 47 year old, who opened the cafe in the summer of 2003 to host and promote spoken word poetry, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are still looking for the shooters.

During the vigil, some people wept, others hugged. Some played recordings of his poetry readings, and a few people read new poems written for him.

Katrina Holder, who performs as “Poettis” recited and sang praising Bell’s personality.

Four detectives were in the crowd at the twilight vigil hoping to get any information about the shooting. North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre also attended and offered Bell’s family help, assuring them finding his murderers was a top priority of the city.

Anyone with information is asked to call the North Miami Police Department at 305-891-8111 or Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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