Gunfire erupted shortly after midnight on Sunday outside of a banquet hall in Miami-Dade County where a rap concert had been taking place, in what police are describing as a “targeted attack” by several armed suspects. At least two people were killed and up to 25 others were reported injured in the attack after a white SUV pulled up outside the banquet hall and three men stepped out and opened fire on those standing outside the facility.
Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez says the shooters were firing “indiscriminately” towards the concertgoers, and so far, police haven’t announced any specific motive that the attackers might have had.
“We believe this is a targeted act of gun violence,” Ramirez said. “This is a despicable act of gun violence, a cowardly act.”
El Mula was hosting a Memorial Day Weekend album release party on Saturday night, featuring live performances from local rappers, including ABMG Spitta, according to several event flyers posted on Instagram. The flyer incorrectly listed Hialeah as the city where the event was taking place.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue took eight of the injured to Miami-Dade and Broward hospitals, said Miami-Dade police spokesman Detective Angel Rodriguez. In addition, he said, more than 12 other victims went to various hospitals on their own.
“This type of gun violence has to stop,” Ramirez said. “Every weekend it is the same thing. This is targeted, this is definitely not random.”
Gang violence is on the increase in the Miami area, with another drive-by shooting leaving one person dead and six injured late Friday night in the Wynwood neighborhood. The Miami Herald reports that this past Thursday, another car chase and shootout left several others injured. Like many cities, Miami’s rise in violent crime began last year, reversing a 20-year decline in the homicide rate.
In published reports, Miami-Dade Police director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez has said, “It’s more brazen. Some shootings are in broad daylight. Being home is part of the problem.”
Most of the shootings in unincorporated Miami-Dade have occurred in the deep south and northern ends of the county. The south has been especially hard hit, with 40 people killed by gunfire and 115 being injured. This is a significant increase from 2019.
The numbers fluctuate city to city. Numbers through Dec. 18 published in the Miami Herald show the City of Miami experienced 62 overall homicides this year, up from 48 in 2019. Meanwhile, homicides in Miami Gardens have dropped.
Other than the vehicle description, police haven’t released any information about potential suspects in the attack outside of the banquet hall. Ramirez has said this wasn’t a random shooting, but that doesn’t mean that law enforcement knows who the intended targets were or who was behind the shooting in the first place.
What we do know is that according to Ramirez, it’s a small number of violent offenders who are responsible for the increase in shootings and homicides in the city. In order to effectively stop this violence, police need to focus on those individuals instead of trying to cast a wide net of new gun control restrictions over the millions of Floridians who lawfully possess firearms. The shooting in Miami is evidence of a gang problem, not a gun problem, and the solution lies in getting serious on the city’s gang members and others who believe that they can commit acts of violence without any fear of consequences.