Miami Beach declares state of emergency after weekend violence

(NewsNation) — City of Miami Beach officials have declared a state of emergency and an upcoming curfew in a bid to curb violent incidents at spring break.

The move follows a particularly violent span of a few days, where five people were wounded in two separate shootings in a city that’s become notorious for its wild spring break parties.

As part of the order, starting Thursday at 12:01 a.m., a midnight curfew will go into effect and will remain until 6 a.m. on March 28, said Miami Beach’s City Manager, Alina Hudak, who signed the order Monday.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said Monday that rowdy tourists have created an “unacceptable” atmosphere of fear in the city as larger-than-usual crowds have swarmed the island just across the bridge from the city of Miami.

“We can’t endure this anymore. We just simply can’t,” Gelber said at a press conference with city officials. “This isn’t your father or your mother’s spring break. This is something wholly different.”

Gelber said “it’s simply unacceptable at every level” and that the city was “way past its endpoint.”

On Sunday, three people were wounded in a shooting on a popular Miami Beach street. The gunfire broke out around 12:15 a.m. on Ocean Drive.

A video posted on social media shows a police motorcade driving slowly down the crowded street with sirens sounding and lights flashing when four shots rang out. The burst of gunfire sent dozens of young people running for cover.

One person was detained after officers surrounded a car with guns drawn. It is not known if charges have been filed. The three victims are expected to survive, police said.

Then early Monday, officers found two women with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds in a separate shooting incident.

Police deployed 371 officers over the weekend and confiscated 37 guns over the past three days, Police Chief Richard Clements said.

Spring break 2022 is the first post-pandemic escape for partygoers and families alike but it has become marred with violence, not just in Miami but around the country.

In Dallas, Texas police say 10 people were shot at a spring break party over the weekend and several others were injured as they tried to escape the gunfire. One person was in critical condition following the shooting late Saturday at The Space Dallas, a party venue. No arrests have been announced yet.

The four victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the suspect was taken into custody, police said.

In a separate incident in Houston, four teenagers were shot, one fatally, at a birthday party.

Last year Miami Beach officials had also declared a state of emergency due to the surge in rowdy spring break visitors. Gelber enacted an 8 p.m. curfew for the entertainment district in an attempt to suppress crowds and potential Covid-19 outbreaks.


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