Miami Beach implements curfew beginning Thursday after weekend shootings

Bernadette Peters concert set for Saturday rescheduled

Miami Beach’s mayor Dan Gelber said: “We didn’t ask for spring break and we don’t want it” at a press conference where the city declared a state of emergency on Monday.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach’s mayor Dan Gelber said: “We didn’t ask for spring break and we don’t want it” at a press conference where the city declared a state of emergency on Monday. The state of emergency allows for the city manager to institute a curfew. That curfew will begin on Thursday, March 24, at 11:59 p.m. and will end at 6 a.m. Monday, March 28, according to City Manager Alina T. Hudak.

It focuses on the problematic area of South Beach. Curfew boundaries will be 23rd Street to the north to South Pointe Drive to the south, the Ocean on the east and the Bay to the west.

Five people were injured during two shootings on Ocean Drive over the weekend. The first was on Sunday and the second was on Monday morning, according to the Miami Beach Police Department.

(View the press conference below.)

A concert sponsored by the city of Miami Beach, which was to have featured Broadway singer Bernadette Peters, will be rescheduled, Hudak said.

The city manager said she only has the power to put in place a curfew for this weekend. The City Commission will meet on Tuesday to address the issue and Hudak said she is almost certain they will agree with a continuation of the curfew.

“It is my hope that our city commission will authorize me to impose the same for the following weekend,” she said.

Gelber, Hudak and Chief Richard Clements talked about the declaration during a news conference at 4 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Hudak said even with all of the city’s planning efforts there were two shootings in Miami Beach. “It was not built for these types of crowds. Our residents and our visitors have every right to ask what are we going to do it.”

Gelber said that police will usher people off of the beach, back to their hotels and to the mainland.

“We don’t want a hard-party crowd here,” Gelber said.

Both of the weekend shootings happened as spring breakers socialized outside.

Panic caused pedestrians to run for cover, knocking down furniture and disrupting traffic nearby. An officer saw Derrick Mitchell running southbound on Ocean Drive while wielding a gun, police said.

“I only shot because they shot at me first,” Mitchell, 29, told police officers on Monday, according to the arrest form.

Three were injured during the shooting early Sunday morning at Eighth Street. Two women were injured early Monday morning at Seventh Street; a bullet grazed one of them.

Four police officers were also injured while working to clear out the crowd on Ocean Drive.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shootings to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Related reports

Noon report

Miami Beach detectives are investigating shootings on Monday and Sunday on Ocean Drive in South Beach.

Monday morning report

Two shootings left five people injured during a busy spring break in South Beach.

Sunday report

Spring break crowds pack Miami Beach, but so far the chaos of last year hasn't arrived with them.

Location

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Wilson Louis contributed to this report.


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.