MIAMI — Two people were killed and multiple others wounded in a shooting early Tuesday in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City that has been plagued by violence, police said.
Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said the dead include a 20-year-old man and a teenage girl. Police officials say a 17-year-old girl was critically wounded in the shooting near an intersection in Liberty City around 2:30 a.m.
“I’m not sure how it occurred,” police spokeswoman Frederica Burden said. “We’re investigating it now. I don’t know if they were all outside standing, some in a car, some not in a car. I don’t know that yet.”
Last April in Liberty City, a historically low-income neighborhood, a gunman opened fire into a crowd outside a corner store killing a woman and wounding two men.
Alfonso said at the scene that city officials are going to try to reassess their strategy against crime. “We are going to work with our law enforcement partners to make it better,” he said.
Although a police official said six more officers and a canine unit had been assigned to the neighborhood, a news release from the Fraternal Order of Police said the shooting was a consequence of a lack of manpower and resources.
“We have reached a tipping point in the district where the criminal element has no fear of our police officers and are beginning to act with impunity,” said the news release signed by Miami police Sgt. Javier Ortiz, who is president of the city’s FOP lodge, according to its website.
The statement urged policemen not to respond to calls that require two officers alone.
“Folks, people are getting killed in groups three blocks outside of our police station. If this isn’t a wakeup call to our stakeholders, I don’t know what is,” said Ortiz.
The police union described the shooting as a gangland style assault in which nearly a dozen people were shot.
At the crime scene, the sidewalk was littered with dozens of spent shell casings marked by green police cones and shattered glass by mid-morning Tuesday. People standing nearby said they were afraid to talk about the shootings.
A crying woman was comforted by others. “My baby ain’t deserved this. They treated him like a dog,” she yelled repeatedly.
One resident, Jose Hernandez, said gun violence is an almost daily occurrence in the area.
“I have friends who have been killed,” Hernandez said. “This violence has to change.”
A Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said she couldn’t release information, including how many people were brought there. She also said the patients had chosen not to release information about their medical conditions.
Police were asking anyone with information about the shootings to come forward.