Miami Beach, Florida, issued a state of emergency and imposed a curfew after two people were killed in separate fatal shooting incidents over the weekend.
Local officials put the curfew in place after two shootings, one on Friday night and another on Sunday night. One person was killed in each incident. The curfew lasted from just before midnight on Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday morning, and it is expected to be imposed again later this week on Thursday through next Monday.
The slayings come during what is typically a busy time for Miami Beach when thousands of college students travel to the area for spring break. The curfew mostly impacted the area of South Beach, a popular spring break spot.
The city imposed the curfew on Sunday night “in response to the two shootings and the excessively large and unruly crowds, and to mitigate dangerous and illegal conduct,” the city said in a press release.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, a Democrat, appeared to blame the violence on outsiders coming into the city to vacation.
“As I’ve said many times, we don’t ask for spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, brings too much disorder and it’s simply too difficult to police,” Gelber told Miami Beach residents, according to The Hill. “While most may come here to enjoy the amenities of Miami Beach, the overwhelming volume of visitors, a few that come with bad intentions in the presence of guns creates a wholly intolerable situation.”
This is the third consecutive year the city imposed a curfew that impacted spring break. Last year, the city adopted a similar measure after five people were injured in shootings, and the year before, the city restricted business over the COVID pandemic, according to NPR.
In the most recent shooting, Miami Beach police responded to gunfire around 11th Street and Ocean Drive at about 3:30 a.m. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Another person was treated for minor injuries, according to CBS News.
Police arrested one suspect after a foot chase and recovered two weapons. Police said the shooting appeared to be targeted, though officials did not clarify beyond that point.
The aftermath was reportedly captured on video and showed the victim lying in the street while onlookers ran away, according to CBS.
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On Friday night, two men were shot, one fatally, and a suspect was arrested at the scene, according to the Associated Press. The incident took place on Ocean Drive in South Beach. Like the Sunday morning shooting, the incident on Friday night sent people scrambling to escape the violence.
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