Police: 2 dead, 20+ injured in Florida banquet hall shooting
HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) — Two people died and an estimated 20 to 25 people were injured by gunfire in a shooting outside a banquet hall in South Florida, police said.
The gunfire erupted early Sunday at the El Mula Banquet Hall in northwest Miami-Dade County, police told news outlets.
The banquet hall had been rented out for a concert. Three people got out of an SUV and opened fire into a crowd outside with assault rifles and handguns, police director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III said. Authorities believe the shooting was targeted.
“These are cold-blooded murderers that shot indiscriminately into a crowd and we will seek justice,” Ramirez said in a tweet.
Two people died at the scene, police said. As many as 25 people went to various hospitals for treatment.
No arrests were immediately announced.
“This is a despicable act of gun violence, a cowardly act,” Ramirez told the Miami Herald.
“This type of gun violence has to stop. Every weekend it’s the same thing,” Ramirez said during an early morning news conference.Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis commented on the shooting on Twitter.
“We mourn the loss of the two victims and are praying for the recovery of the more than 20 people injured at El Mula Banquet Hall near Hialeah. We are working with local authorities to bring justice to the perpetrators. Justice needs to be swift & severe!” DeSantis tweeted.
Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones said he wants DeSantis to do more than just pray. He’s calling on the governor to sit down with Democrats to discuss meaningful ways of addressing gun violence.
“Thoughts and prayers have been going on for years and thoughts and prayers haven’t done a damn thing inside the Black community — or any community when it comes to gun violence,” Jones said.
But he acknowledged Republicans are resistant to discuss the issue.
“Republicans don’t want to talk about guns. They think we’re trying to take their guns away from them. If their talking point is that guns are for protection, or that guns are for hunting, just know that that terminology is different in certain communities,” Jones said. “Some of these individuals are using guns to murder. Some of these individuals are using guns to hunt people.”
Businessman and TV personality Marcus Lemonis, star of “The Profit,” took to Twitter to offer a $100,000 reward to help authorities capture the suspects.
Gun violence ushered in the Memorial Day weekend in South Florida when dozens of shots were fired outside another gathering in Miami’s Wynwood area. The shooting late Friday killed one person and injured six others.