HIALEAH, Fla. – Hialeah police believe a drug deal set off an exchange of gunfire Friday morning at a motel.
Two men were shot — one is in stable condition, the other in critical condition — at the Palacio Inn off LeJeune Road, northeast of Miami International Airport.
“We have one subject hit. He is in critical condition,” said Maj. Hubert Ruiz of the Hialeah Police Department. “Our victim was hit also and the victim is in stable condition. We suspect this to be drug-based.”
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows one man collapsing to the ground in the middle of lanes of traffic as he tried to run away from the other man, who police said returned fire.
Witnesses described the terrifying moments as shots rang out at the motel.
“Some guy ran through the shop saying, ‘Hey hey somebody just got shot,’” one witness said.
The shooting comes days after Hialeah City Council President Jesus Tundidor presented an ordinance to prohibit motels in the city from offering hourly rentals in hopes of curbing the violence.
While police say this incident was targeted, they are fortunate no one else was injured.
“This is not a random incident,” Ruiz said.
If you have any information about the incident that can help investigators, you are urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.