Police in South Florida were hunting for suspects Monday after two people were killed and 21 others were injured in a shooting outside a banquet hall in what authorities called an act of domestic terrorism.
County Commissioner Keon Hardemon said at a press conference the shooting, which came 24 hours after one person was killed and six others wounded in a drive-by shooting in the Wynwood area of Miami, has had a chilling effect on the community. “We have to be clear about what’s happening in Miami-Dade County.” Hardemon said. “These are acts of domestic terrorism.” Police director Alfredo Ramirez III was briefly interrupted during the briefing by a tearful father of one of the victims killed during the shooting who was led away by officers. “That’s the pain that you see,” Ramirez said. “Together, all of us, we must work harder to bring justice to these families.”
Gunfire erupted early Sunday near Hialeah at El Mula Banquet Hall, which had been rented out for a concert, police said. The suspects waited in the parking lot 20 to 40 minutes before three people rolled out of a white Nissan Pathfinder and opened fire on the crowd outside in what Ramirez called a “targeted and cowardly act of gun violence.” Several people in the crowd armed themselves and returned fire resulting in 23 people shot, two of whom died at the scene, according to police. Three people are in the hospital Monday with critical injuries and three have been released including a 17-year-old who was shot in the leg.
Authorities say the shooting stemmed from an ongoing rivalry between two different groups and the intended target was outside the banquet hall when the shooting took place. Police are still working to comb through video and forensic evidence after being on the scene for almost 24 hours. No arrests were announced. Police released a video of the vehicle and the suspects to aid the public in identifying them [MSN].
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MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MIAMI HERALD