Man shot and killed in South Beach, police say

Burst of gunfire caused bystanders to run for cover

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A man with a history of run-ins with Miami Beach police was shot and killed late Saturday in South Beach, authorities said.

Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department, said the victim and another man got in an argument around 11:30 p.m. outside a Walgreens drugstore near Collins Avenue and 14th Street. The victim was shot multiple times and the gunman fled the scene before officers arrived, police said.

Rodriguez said the victim was a 33-year-old man who frequented the South Beach area and had a history of arrests on numerous charges, including aggravated battery, drug possession and armed robbery. Police were trying to notify the victim's family before identifying him. 

Rodriguez said officers are looking for the gunman.

"It may well be that there is an explanation for the shooting. We would like the person involved to contact our detectives and provide his explanation of these events," he said.

The shooting, in the heart of the busy entertainment district, caused bystanders to run for cover.

"I was just walking up, the shots went off and everybody was hiding behind everything. I walked inside and saw all the blood. I followed it. I was asking people if they were OK, and then I saw the guy laying there," said one witness, who did not want to be identified.

Witnesses said paramedics performed CPR on the victim before rushing him to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he later died.

"I was actually walking through, followed the blood and someone was working on him. He was gone. He was gone," the witness said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.