Miami Beach liquor stores to close earlier after 2 fatal shootings in Ocean Drive

Commissioners give city manager state of emergency powers

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Liquor stores in Miami Beach have to stop alcohol sales six hours earlier, the city commissioners decided Monday afternoon after giving the city manager state of emergency powers in response to fatal shootings.

The city’s code ordinance had already restricted the vendors in Miami Beach from making “sales of alcohol only for off-premises consumption” from midnight to 8 a.m. The new restriction starts at 6 p.m.

Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola was the only one to vote against the limit and described the measure as ineffective and as a punishment for the business sector.

The commissioners met after witnesses shared videos of the panic that ensued when the shootings left spring break tourists and locals feeling afraid for their safety.

Police officers arrested Dontavious Polk, 24, of Fort Lauderdale, for first-degree murder, after a fatal shooting shortly before 3:30 a.m., on Sunday on Ocean Drive at 11 Street. Surveillance video shows the murder.

Police officers also arrested another suspect after a fatal shooting at 10:40 p.m., on Friday on Ocean Drive at Seventh Street. One person was injured.

The fatal shootings prompted officials to issue a temporary curfew from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m., south of 23rd Street, but commissioners decided on Monday not to renew it.

“We don’t want spring break in our city,” Mayor Dan Gelber said Sunday adding that “it’s simply too difficult to police.”

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

Watch the commission meeting on Facebook Live

About the Author:

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.