Florida Concert Shooting Leaves At Least 20 Injured, Two Killed

Usually a time of celebration and togetherness, the Memorial Day weekend brought tragedy and loss of life to South Florida after the state saw yet another mass shooting, leading to the deaths of at least two people and at least 20 injured individuals too, with two people said to be suffering from catastrophic injuries and being classed in critical condition.

The Incident

Florida Concert Shooting Leaves At Least 20 Injured, Two KilledThe incident occurred early on Sunday, May 30 near Hialeah in Miami-Dade County. Police reports state that shortly after midnight, a white Nissan Pathfinder was spotted pulling up at the El Mula Banquet Hall. Three people exited the vehicle, armed with an array of weapons including both assault rifles and handguns.

In a statement, Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez III explained that the three individuals promptly began to fire without discrimination into the crowd of people in the area. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and “20 to 25” victims suffered gunshot wounds. Five of them were rushed to the nearby Memorial Regional Hospital, where two remain in critical condition.

Ramirez continued in his statement to explain that the banquet hall and accompanying billiards club had been rented for a concert that evening. The MDPD Director later issued a tweet, stating that those responsible for the shooting were “cold blooded murderers” and vowing to “seek justice”, as well as sending his “deepest condolences to the family of the victims”.

Two Shootings, One Day Apart

The Hialeah shooting came barely 24 hours after another shooting in South Florida. A drive-by shooting occurred the previous night in the Wynwood area, just 13 miles from the site of the second shooting. This event led to one death and six injuries.

The City of Miami Police released a statement to say that the shooting in question had occurred late on Friday night on 20th St and Northwest First Court. Locals in the area described the scene as being like a “war zone”, with one witness claiming to have heard “60 gunshots”.

The Response

Governor Ron DeSantis responded to the shooting, posting on Twitter to say that he was “praying for the recovery” of the victims involved and offering the support of state authorities. He also tweeted that he was working to “bring justice” to those responsible.

In response, Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones argued that DeSantis should do more than offer thoughts and prayers, asking the governor to sit down and open discussions with Democrats regarding ways to deal with rising gun violence around the state and other parts of the US.

Other responses came from various figures online. Marcus Lemonis, star of TV’s The Profit, offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who could assist the authorities in capturing the people responsible for the Hialeah shooting.

Various witnesses and families of people involved were also interviewed by local and national news crews. Clayton Dillard and his family were spotted standing near the El Mula Banquet Hall, fearing that one of their own loved ones was one of the victims inside. Dillard said, “I know he’s there, but they won’t let me come claim him.”

Angelica Green, mother, and aunt to two of the victims, stated that her son was shot in the abdomen but had undergone surgery and entered a stable condition, while her nephew had been shot four times.

Over 220 Mass Shootings in 2021 So Far

Gun violence continues to be a source of discussion across the United States, with more than 220 mass shootings in 2021 alone so far and hundreds more recorded every year in recent years. In 2021, over 17,000 people have lost their lives in mass shooting events 2021, and if the rate of shootings continues as it has started, the year will be one of the deadliest on record.

Florida is one of the worst states for mass shootings in 2021, with 16 recorded mass shootings so far, including the Hialeah event of May 30 and the Miami event of May 28. Neighboring Southern states like Alabama and Georgia have also had a reasonable share of the year’s mass shootings, with many shootings also occurring in Louisiana, Texas, and California.

Other recent mass shootings in the Sunshine State include the Clewiston shooting at the Brown Sugar Festival on May 1, which left one person dead and three injured, along with the St. Petersburg shooting of February 16 in which a homicide suspect shot several family members at his grandparents’ house, causing three deaths and one injury.

Nationwide, the most fatal shootings of the year 2021 so far have been the May 26 shooting in San Jose and the March 22 shooting in Boulder. The San Jose shooting left ten people dead at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority control center, while the Boulder shooting was situated at a grocery store and caused 10 deaths. The suspect was shot in the leg and captured.

An Ongoing Debate

The increasing rate of mass shootings in the US and the loss of life these events cause is the source of ongoing debate across the nation and beyond, with arguments on both sides of the situation, both in favor of gun ownership and in support of stricter gun control laws.

In his first joint address to lawmakers in April, shortly after the San Jose shooting, President Biden called on Congress to take action on the matter of gun control, urging for stricter measures.

“We are still awaiting many of the details of this latest mass shooting, but there are some things we know for sure. There are at least eight families who will never be whole again,” said the president, shortly before an additional ninth death was announced.

It remains to be seen what actions will or will not be taken in Congress and elsewhere throughout the US political and law-making systems in order to stem the rising tide of mass shootings, but it’s clear to see that the debate around guns won’t fade away in the wake of these additional events in South Florida.

 

 

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