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Man Shot While Sitting In Car On Miami Beach, Police Believe He Was Targeted

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man sitting in his car on Miami Beach was injured in a shooting early Monday morning. Detectives and crime scene technicians scoured the scene around the white BMW that had bullet holes in the driver's side window.

It happened at Collins Avenue and 29th Street just before 6:30 a.m.

"There was a series of very loud bangs," said Gail Przeclawski, a visitor from Orlando who heard the gunfire.

"Five shots, rapid, pop, pop, pop," said Cole Harrison who is visiting from Key West.

It woke up Chicago tourist Barbara Larkin, who also heard five shots.

"I was scared. It wasn't workers dropping metal, it was gunfire," she said.

She told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "Those 5 shots were too close for comfort. I am overly concerned about this. I don't know how you are going to address this but they have to get a handle on this stuff."

The injured man was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.

"Detectives, based on the information they have been able to gather, believe that this was a targeted incident rather than a random incident," said Miami Beach police officer Ernesto Rodriguez.

The shooting happened in a busy spot on Miami Beach, frequented by locals and visitors staying at nearby hotels.

"It is a busy section of Miami Beach. If you were in this area and have some sort of, even if it's a quick snippet of cellphone footage, we ask that you turn that over to detectives," said Rodriguez.

Those who live in the area, and those visiting, said news of the shooting was very disturbing.

"I think this is horrendous. I come from New York City. I hear of crime left and right and right now I am on vacation and I was very surprised, very surprised to hear that happening on this trip," Andrew Tyler. "We have a lot of tourists up and down this strip and this should not be happening here on Miami Beach. Justice will be served and the Judge is going to throw the book at them."

"It's scary. This thing was happening in a touristy area," said Berkay Erick, who is visiting from Turkey. "I could have been shot by accident."

Some residents say there has been an uptick in crime on Miami Beach and police have increased their presence.

One woman who did not want to give her name said "I have lived here since the 1980s. I have lived here for 38 years. And I have seen a big increase in crime. A lot of times I feel it is outsiders coming in to this city. This breaks my heart."

"The past couple of months in our entertainment district is always a cause for concern. What I can say is we are continually hiring additional officers and deploying our officers strategically to all areas of Miami Beach," said Officer Rodriguez. "Unfortunately even with the best staffing plans, we can not prevent all instances of crime."

Police said they are looking for two men seen leaving the scene around the time of the shooting, however, they don't know if they were directly involved in it.

CBS4 also spoke with Eddie Reming, who says he told police he was a witness and was at a Starbucks restaurant when he saw the gunman run by him with another man.

"When I went to sit down, I heard a boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. The man came by me with a gun in his hand and said get out of the way. He jumped over the wall and the man behind the gunman yelled Stop. Don't run. You will make it look obvious. He slowed down and then they took off. When I saw the man who was shot he was outside his car and then he fell down in the street. This in unsettling but I have come to expect these things," Reming said.

Surveillance video and license plate readers are expected to play a critical role in the investigation.

Anyone who can help police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $1,000.

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