Police officers work at the scene of a shooting outside a banquet hall near Hialeah, Florida on Sunday. Lynne Sladky / AP Hide caption
Lynne Sweet / AP
Lynne Sweet / AP
The manhunt for three masked suspects, who opened fire in front of a banquet room in Miami early Sunday morning, killing two men and injuring 21 others, continued through Memorial Day.
That fear was compounded Monday by a grieving father who interrupted a press conference when Miami-Dade Police Department director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III denounced the weekend’s gun violence and asked for community help track down the shooters.
“You killed my child for no reason,” the desperate man yelled as he was led away from the cameras. Police later confirmed that the man, Clayton Dillard, is the father of one of two 26-year-old men who were shot and killed outside the banquet hall where a rap concert was being held.
“This is the pain you see. This is the pain that hits our community right in front of you,” Ramirez said.
On Monday, police released a clip from a surveillance video that showed a white SUV driving into an alley of the mall where El Mula Banquet Hall is located in northwest Miami-Dade near Hialeah. The video shows three people getting out of the vehicle, one with a handgun while the other two carried what the police called “assault rifles”.
At the time, the gunmen shot the crowd indiscriminately, although police said the attackers had specific targets in mind.
Ramirez told the Miami Herald that the shooters waited between 20 and 40 minutes before attacking shortly after midnight. According to the police, some in the crowd returned fire.
The video shows the three men returning moments later and driving off into the darkness. A total of 23 people were shot. In addition to the two fatalities, three others were in critical condition in the hospital. For privacy reasons, the police did not publish the names of the victims.
The SUV used in the shootings was found later on Monday in a canal about eight miles east of the banquet room. According to police, the vehicle was reported stolen two weeks ago.
The Sunday shooting took place just over a day after a drive-by shoot that claimed the life of a person outside another venue in the Wynwood area, about 13 miles away. Six others were injured. Some witnesses compared the scene to a “war zone” after dozens of bullets scuttled people through the night.
“This is a weekend we should remember, enjoy the time with our loved ones and mourn here instead,” said Miami-Dade County’s Mayoress Daniella Levine Cava at the press conference on Monday.
“These heinous shootings in northwest Miami-Dade and Wynwood are shameful acts of violence that killed and injured innocent people,” said Cava.
The police said the two shots were unrelated.
Police said the Sunday shooting appeared to be a result of rivalries between two groups, but refused to label those groups as “gangs”.
The Profit star, businessman and television personality Marcus Lemonis, has pledged $ 100,000 to a reward fund to help the authorities arrest the suspects.