Two dead and more than 20 injured in Florida banquet hall shooting

At least two people were killed and more than 20 injured in Miami early on Sunday as attackers opened fire on concertgoers outside a banquet hall. It was the city’s second deadly mass shooting in little more than 24 hours.

A police spokesman said the shooting happened in the Hialeah area. Three people got out of a white SUV and began firing on a line outside the El Mula banquet hall. The attackers used assault rifles and a handgun, authorities said.

“These are cold-blooded murderers that shot indiscriminately into a crowd and we will seek justice,” the Miami-Dade police director, Alfredo Ramirez, said in a tweet.

“This is a despicable act of gun violence, a cowardly act,” he told the Miami Herald. “This type of gun violence has to stop. Every weekend it is the same thing. This is targeted, this is definitely not random.”

On Friday night, a drive-by shooting in Wynwood left one dead and six wounded. Authorities were alerted by ShotSpotter, an audible detection system that relays the sound of gunfire.

On Sunday morning, a law enforcement source said officers who arrived to find victims lying in the road outside the rented party venue likened the scene to “a war zone”.

With almost all pandemic restrictions lifted, visitors have swelled numbers in Miami, a popular vacation destination, for the Memorial Day weekend.

Police have not said if they believe the shootings are linked, but said that it appeared the victims were targeted in both attacks.

After the Friday incident, detectives found shell casings from at least two types of weapon.

In the Sunday incident, authorities said, eight wounded were taken to hospital by ambulance, at least one in critical condition. A further 12 people went to local hospitals on their own, the Herald reported.

Ramirez told the newspaper he was concerned by levels of gun crime in Miami.

“It is very difficult to stop a small amount of individuals who want to go out there and commit murder, and it takes all of us to stop this,” he said. “We really have to put the work in this summer to keep our children and community safe.”

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