It was a celebration of the peaceful civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., but it took an unexpectedly violent turn.
Following a MLK Day parade in Miami on Monday, shots suddenly rang out at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, where the celebration of the holiday continued.
Witnesses told CBS Miami they heard gunfire just beyond an area where food trucks were set up alongside the park. The shooting reportedly began at about 3:40 p.m.
“I saw a lot of people running. I think like five people got hit, probably all teenagers, three girls and two male,” a food truck vendor told CBS Miami.
Eight people were shot in total, including an 11-year-old child. Two victims were treated at the scene, while the remaining six were transported to a hospital, with one victim, an 20-year-old male, listed in critical condition following the shooting. That victim reportedly remains hospitalized after two surgeries.
Miami-Dade police took two individuals and two weapons into custody, within an hour of the shooting — but neither suspect was arrested. Authorities are offering a reward of $21,000 for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for the shooting.
In a news conference Tuesday Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez spoke of his shame and disappointment that violence would break out on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of all days.
“He was a man who talked about peace, that talked about equality.. and sadly we sit here today talking about victims that were shot in a playground in a park at the finale of a great parade,” said Perez. “Enough is enough. We need information right now.”