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Stolen SUV Involved In Banquet Hall Mass Shooting Found Dumped In Canal

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Under the murky water of a canal, Miami-Dade police discovered the SUV used by three gunmen in a horrible mass shooting.

The shooting happened in front of El Mula Banquet Hall early Sunday morning.

The SUV, which was reported stolen two weeks ago, was located in a canal near NW 154 Street and 2 Avenue.

It was found just hours after police released video showing the SUV pulling up to the scene and the heavily armed gunmen jumping out.

"A white Nissan Pathfinder approached the side of the entrance, three individuals exited that pathfinder arm, and opened fire on the crowd," explained Major Jorge Aguiar, head of the Miami-Dade Police Homicide Division. "Several groups in the parking lot armed themselves and opened fire toward the initial shooters."

Chopper Mass Shooting Vehicle Located
Chopper4 over the canal where the stolen white SUV was dumped. (CBS4)

More than 100 rounds were fired.  Surveillance video from nearby show the flashes of gunfire in the parking lot. A total of 23 people were shot – two were found dead on the scene.

At a news conference at MDPD headquarters, just as Director Freddy Ramirez was explaining how gun violence is ruining families, the father of murder victim Clayton Dillard III crashed the new conference, expressing his pain and grief.

Talking about the gunmen, he yelled, "You kill my kid! You must burn! You must burn!  You hear me?"

Police led him inside.

CBS4's Ted Scouten also spoke to Rodney Thomas. His daughter, Kadedra, was shot three times.

"Her words was like it was something out of a movie and they just opened fire," he explained.

Kadedra is in the hospital with three gunshot wounds to the back and one to the leg.

"She said her body was on fire.  She was thinking this was where it was going to end, this is how it's going to end," he said.

The prognosis for her is good. Thomas said she's expected to be OK. His good news comes as people stopped by the scene to light candles for those who died and were seriously injured. They're surrounded by dozens of bullet holes left behind after what police call a cowardly, targeted shooting.

Banquet Hall Shooters
Armed individuals shot into crowd outside NW Dade banquet hall. (Source: Miami-Dade Police)

"We have intelligence information that this resulted from an ongoing rivalry from 2 different groups.  We know our intended target was most likely in front of the establishment when the shooting took place," said Major Aguiar.

Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine Cava is urging people to come forward with tips.

"We must get these killers off the streets! We can only do it with your help," she said.

The reward is now up to $130,000.  If you have information call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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