Will police-involved shooting mark end of Miami Beach Memorial Day celebrations?

Parking space dispute leads to fatal shooting

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – What began as a dispute over a parking spot has turned into a homicide investigation in Miami Beach.

One victim, Ladarian Phillips, 30, died after he was shot during the dispute.

Another man died after being shot by police.

As a result, a Miami Beach commissioner is thinking of doing away with Urban Beach Weekend.

Two or three shots were fired at about 10:35 p.m. Sunday along the 200 block of Ocean Drive, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates said. Two men were injured from the gunfire exchange. 

One of those men later died at Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. 

Police were able to spot a white BMW with New York plates, which was seen fleeing the scene, near Alton Road and Second Street, Oates said.

Witnesses said they saw the BMW trying to parallel park along a curb along Ocean Drive, according to a police report. The BMW then struck the victim's gold Buick a couple times. 

When the vehicle didn't fit, the driver of the BMW began forcing the Buick back in an attempt to move it. That's when the victim and a friend asked the driver of the BMW how many more times he was going to hit his vehicle, a police report said. 

An argument took place and a passenger shouted to the victims, "Step the f--- back," a according to a police report. The driver passed a handgun to Jeffery Alexander, 19, who pointed the gun at the victim and fired two or three rounds, police said. 

One victim was shot in the leg and another was shot in the back, police said.

The driver of the BMW crashed into two Miami Beach police vehicles when he turned eastbound into a westbound lane on Fifth Street, Oates said. 

After the crash, the driver continued to travel north on Alton Road near Sixth Street when a confrontation with police took place. Two Miami Beach officers fired their weapons and one person in the vehicle suffered a gunshot wound, Oates said. 

That person was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital and was later pronounced dead. The officer who shot at the person is now being investigated by Miami-Dade police.

 Meanwhile, two men were detained and another occupant of the vehicle ran away, but he was apprehended about an hour later by Miami Beach police dogs. 

"We are confident we have the shooter identified and we are determining appropriate charges," Oates said. 

A weapon was recovered during that investigation. 

Alexander was arrested on two charges of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. 


Both Miami Beach police officers involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave. 

The shooting may mark the end of Memorial Day celebrations in Miami Beach, Commissioner Michael Grieco said. 

"To be woken up by reports of gunfire and homicide is something that breaks our hearts," he said.

Grieco said there needs to be a message sent that Miami Beach will not tolerate shootings and other acts of violence.

"The message to our residents is that our city leaders are taking this very seriously," he said.

He said that the city has spent 17 years of trying to handle large crowds and had tried to "measure success by the number of arrests," but that is something that Miami Beach is no longer "going to tolerate."

"There will likely be legislation that will be coming up in the next couple of weeks that will be specifically addressing the last two weeks of May here in the city of Miami Beach. They will address times of bar closures and night club closures. They will address how police will be handling things moving forward," Grieco said. "Our residents need to feel safe in their own beds."

Dolo Jones is visiting Miami Beach and doesn't agree with the commissioner's proposal. 

"I don't think we should be punished for that," he said. "We're just here trying to enjoy the city; trying to enjoy the nightlife and enjoy our vacation." 

There have been several shootings in Miami Beach over the holiday weekend, including one  in which Dontavious Johnson,25,  opened fire into a taxi before running into a liquor store on Collins Avenue, police said. 

Johnson has an $18,500 bond, and police are still searching for the victim in that case. 

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