MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade police are investigating a deadly mass shooting that left two people dead and 21 others injured in what detectives described as a “targeted act of violence.”
“This is a despicable act of gun violence,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez. “A cowardly act.”
According to police, the shooting took place after a birthday party for a local rapper known as ABMG Spitta, whose real name is Courtney Paul Wilson.
Police confirmed that shots were fired back at the three shooters and about 100 shell casings were found at the scene.
“Well, we know now from the evidence that’s coming out is that there was return fire from the patrons when these subjects began firing. There was returned fire. There’s multiple casings throughout the scene that establishes that, however, we don’t know at this time who were the shooters that were returning fire and we don’t know yet,” Ramirez said.
Victims were rushed to several hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, some in their personal vehicles, according to police.
Ramirez said the El Mula Banquet Hall, located at 7630 Northwest 186th St., was rented out for a concert Saturday into Sunday morning.
According to police, the music stopped just after midnight and patrons were standing outside when three subjects stepped out of a white Nissan Pathfinder SUV with assault rifles and handguns and began shooting indiscriminately into the crowd.
“Typically the crowd is usually rowdy, a fight every other weekend,” said Alex Lanires, who works nearby. “It was a matter of time before something really bad happened and I guess today was that time.”
Police said paramedics took eight people from the scene while at least 12 others were driven or drove themselves to various hospitals.
Seven victims were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital after initially arriving at Palmetto General Hospital, police said.
“You never know what it’s like until you have something jerked away from you,” said Chad Harris, who is the father of one of the shooting victims, a 19-year-old woman. “She’s in surgery now. We’re just praying. Praying for all the victims, praying for all the families.”
Outside of the emergency room at Jackson Memorial Hospital, as many as 50 family members and friends gathered to wait for information about their loved ones.
Angelica Green was one of those people. She told Local 10 News that her 24-year-old son was one of the shooting victims and that he was shot in the stomach.
“He called us frantic, saying he had been shot, that it hurts and that he loves us,” Green said. “My husband was like, ‘No, stay with us.’”
Police are now asking the community for help as they comb through surveillance footage and gather evidence.
“He said the guys came with ski masks and hoodies, and just started shooting up the crowd,” Green said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.