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Shooting along Florida's Hollywood Beach injures 9 on Memorial Day; police seek to identify 3 people involved

Memorial Day shooting leaves 9 wounded in Florida
Police still searching for 3 connected to Florida beach shooting 01:44

Nine people were wounded Monday evening when gunfire erupted along a beachside promenade in Hollywood, Florida, sending people frantically running for cover along the crowded beach on Memorial Day. Two men who police believe were involved in the shooting have been arrested, and investigators were looking for three other people who could be connected to the incident, a police spokesperson said Tuesday.

The shooting happened on the Hollywood Oceanfront Broadwalk near a convenience store, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream store and a Subway sandwich shop. Police spokesperson Deanna Bettineschi said four children between the ages of 1 and 17 were hit, along with five adults between 25 and 65.

Police detained an unspecified number of individuals but said none were identified as the shooters. Two men who were believed to be involved in the shooting were arrested for weapons charges, Bettineschi told reporters Tuesday afternoon. Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said they weren't from the city but from other cities in South Florida.

Police said five handguns were recovered, including two that were stolen, one from nearby Miami-Dade County and one from Texas.

Investigators were looking for three other individuals who could be connected to the shooting, and people were urged to contact investigators with information.

"When you do something like this in broad daylight, with CCTV cameras up and down our broadwalk, you will be identified and you will be caught and brought to justice," Levy said Tuesday. "We're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior."

Memorial Regional Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital said Tuesday they were still caring for six patients — four minors and two adults — and that all are in stable condition. Three adults were treated and discharged.

A police officer tends to a victim of the shooting in Hollywood, Florida, on May 29, 2023.
A police officer tends to a victim of the shooting in Hollywood, Florida, on May 29, 2023. Hollywood Beach TV / Reuters

Bettineschi said the shooting happened shortly before 7 p.m. It started with an altercation between two groups that escalated to shots being fired, police said.

Police respond to a shooting on the Broadwalk in Hollywood, Florida, on May 29, 2023.  Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Police Chief Chris O'Brien said thousands of people were in the area and dozens of police officers responded, including some who were nearby.

"It's unfortunate we have law-abiding citizens who come to our beaches and that gets interrupted by a group of criminals," he said.

Levy said in a statement it's "completely unacceptable that innocent people spending time with family on a holiday weekend have been affected by a shooting altercation between two groups who came into our city with no regard for the safety of the law-abiding public around them."

He also thanked "the good Samaritans, paramedics, police and emergency room doctors and nurses for their immediate response to aid the victims of today's shooting."

An area live cam showed people running away frantically from the scene, CBS Miami reported.

Vance Hendricks, a tourist from Philadelphia, told the station he "saw a young man that was on the ground bleeding and they were applying pressure to prevent the bleeding. Also, saw a lady that was very upset. I think she had a wound to her leg." 

Alvie Carlton Scott III said he was on the beach when he suddenly heard numerous gunshots. He said he hid behind a tree and then fled the area after a police officer told people to run.

Shooting in Florida
Police cordon off the scene after an altercation ended in gunfire at Hollywood Beach Broadwalk in Hollywood, Florida, on May 29, 2023. Marco Bello / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Jamie Ward, who was also on the promenade, said several young men were fighting in front of the stores when one pulled a gun and started shooting.

Videos posted on Twitter on Monday evening showed emergency medical crews responding and providing aid to multiple injured people.

Police said there would be a heavy presence of officers as the investigation continues. Officials also set up an area for family members to reunite.

Hollywood Beach is a popular destination about 11 miles south of Fort Lauderdale and 20 miles north of Miami. Officials expected the beach to have more visitors than usual because of the Memorial Day holiday.

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