News Americas

Saturday 18 November 2017

Children among wounded as 15 people shot in Miami nightclub attack

Victims were mainly teenagers and children including one as young as 11

Emergency personnel tend to the wounded outside The Spot in Miami
Emergency personnel tend to the wounded outside The Spot in Miami

Rosa Prince

Police are investigating after 15 young people including a number of teenagers and a child aged 11 were shot and injured at a Miami nightclub.

Witnesses described a scene of “chaos” after shots were fired into the crowd at The Spot nightclub at around 1am on Sunday morning.

The victims were aged between 11 and 25 and included several who were below the age of 18. It is unclear why so many youngsters were in the nightclub at the time.

Ignatius Carroll, a Miami Fire Rescue captain, said emergency workers were stunned by the sight which greeted them when they arrived at the club: “There were a lot of people outside,” he said. “Some were helping their friends who had been shot.”

Frederica Burden, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, added: “This has baffled everybody. “We are just trying to figure out what’s going on.

“People were scrambling to get out and we have a lot of victims. There are a lot of people to talk to.”

Most of the victims were suffering from hip and leg injuries, although one was not breathing when emergency crews arrived.

Seven victims were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, while the remaining eight went on their own.

One eyewitness told the Miami Herald it appeared that groups of people were exchanging gunfire. At one point during the gunfight, the door to the club was flung open and she could see flashes go off as shots were fired.

“There must have been 100 people inside,” the witness said. “Shots were flying everywhere.”

Police were said to have been unaware of the existence of The Spot, described as a “pop-up” nightclub catering to teens which had opened its doors for the first time around three weeks ago.

Staff and managers at The Spot were unavailable for comment.

There has been speculation that the shooting was gang-related. In 1992, four people were killed and 18 wounded when gang members exchanged fire inside a restaurant in Miami-Dade called Taste of the Islands.

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