Early Sunday morning, a shooting at a Miami nightclub left 15 people injured, at least one whom is now in critical condition. The youngest victim was only 11 years old, and the oldest was 25. Five of the victims were young women between the ages of 11 and 17. The nightclub named The Spot opened just a month ago and is located in a strip mall next to a smoke shop, and authorities are unclear as to how a group of underaged children managed to find their way to the nightclub.
Around 1 am on Sunday morning, it seemed that business was as usual at the club, with music and revelry spelling out no signs of trouble. But when the authorities arrived around 2 am, the scene was described as nothing short of "chaos" by Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll. According to the Miami Herald, Carroll transported seven victims to Jackson Memorial Hospital, with victims suffering hip, leg and other non-life threatening injuries. But one victim was not breathing.
Frederica Burden, a spokeswoman for Miami police, told USA Today, "We don't really know what was going on. We don't know how people in that age group would fit in. It is baffling." Witnesses told local news stations that they heard as many as 100 shots fired off from several guns, and as of yet, there are no suspects in Miami PD's custody. "We have no motive," said Burden to USA Today. "We don't know if it was one or several shooters, or how many shots were fired."
Few details have emerged from the night of violence, especially because some of the victims were not taken to the hospital by the authorities. Instead, eight of those hurt were driven to various facilities by their friends and family after they fled the bloody scene. "The investigators are still interviewing witnesses. They're going from hospital to hospital," Burden told the Associated Press, adding that it is still unclear whether the party at The Spot was private or open to the public.
When media outlets attempted to reach The Spot, it was found that their number was out of service.
One of the witnesses, a 28-year-old woman, told the Herald that it seemed as though the shooters were exchanging shots at one another, with about 100 club goers simply caught in between them as collateral damage. Through the open front door of the club, the woman said she could see flashes of gunfire. "Shots were flying everywhere," she said.
Carroll corroborated this witnesses' version of events, telling the AP, "people were screaming, people were saying they were shot." But worst of all, Carroll noted, was the demographic make-up of those involved in the shooting. Said Carroll,
What was very surprising to the responders was that these were kids that were out at 1 o'clock in the morning in a club and this type of violence took place where a bunch of kids were gathering ... it's very disturbing to see that.
Unfortunately, Miami is no stranger to this sort of club violence. Just a few months ago, a personal chef was shot and killed at a South Beach club, and in December, yet another man died after a fight at an Allapattah nightclub. In June 2007, the Herald reports, the Polish American Club in Miami became a tragic crime scene after four armed men killed two and injured five party goers who were celebrating a recent graduation. Just a couple years later, shots were fired into a crowd of 200 people at a birthday party, killing two and wounding 12.
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