AVENTURA, Fla. – All has returned to normal, Monday, after five people were injured on Saturday from an incident that escalated inside of Aventura Mall that ended in gunfire. Now, the suspect responsible for the shooting remains at large.
Monday morning, things at Aventura Mall were quiet. However, it was different scene over the weekend.
On Saturday, three people were struck by gunfire in the shooting, all said to have non-life-threatening injuries, and two other people were hurt while running to get out of the chaos.
Police said the shooting was a result of two groups who got into a fight outside of the Hugo Boss store inside the mall. According to officials, when a member from one of the groups pulled out a weapon, a member from the second group pulled out a weapon, as well, and actually fired the weapon.
“An individual displayed a weapon. Another individual pulled out a weapon and actually used it,” said Aventura Police Maj. Michael Bentolila.
Cellphone video circulated on social media after the shooting and showed the terrifying moments as shoppers ran and hid inside the shopping venue. The incident reached a national scale, and videos of the incident went viral.
“After that first one, all you heard was, ‘Bom, bom, bom,’” describes a witness who was at the mall during the incident. “After that third one, everyone was running.”
While police said multiple people were taken into custody, the search continues for the gunman who witnesses said opened fire inside the crowded mall.
According to detectives, as of Monday, the investigation remains ongoing. Detectives say this is a large-scale, complicated investigation that involves scouring hours of video, evidence throughout the mall, and conducting multiple interviews.
However, they are making significant progress.
On Sunday, things appeared to be back to normal, as well, when the mall reopened at noon.
Shopper Christian Bermudez was not at the mall when gunfire erupted Saturday afternoon, but he heard about it and can’t help but worry.
“I definitely thought there was going to be a lot less people here,” Bermudez said. “I thought there was going to be more security or something around, but it seemed to be like business as usual, not really any change.
“Now just walking around, I see the situation playing out in my head and it’s like, what would we do if it happened again today.”
Although several people have been detained by officials for questioning, no formal arrests have been made.
Anyone with information about the shooting or the whereabouts of the gunman is urged to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.