Miami Beach officials announced a curfew beginning Sunday night — during the busy spring break period — after two fatal shootings and crowds that refused police attempts at controlling them.
The curfew will be in place from 11:59 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday, officials said, adding “separate emergency measures” will be put in place Thursday through the weekend.
Two shootings, one Friday night and another early Sunday, left two people dead and two wounded, one critically, Miami Beach police said.
Police responded Friday night shortly after 10:30 p.m. after hearing gunshots near 7 Street and Ocean Drive. They found two men with gunshot wounds, both of whom were taken to the trauma unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital. One of the men died and the other was in critical condition.
On Saturday, police said they had taken a man into custody, “who is cooperating fully with the investigation,” and recovered four firearms from the scene.
Officers again heard gunshots at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning near 11 Street and Ocean Drive. A man with gunshot wounds was taken to Jackson Memorial, where he died, and a second man was treated and released on the scene.
Police found the suspect in that shooting nearby and gave chase. They recovered a firearm that the suspect tossed away and another he still had on him.
The identities of the people involved have not been released, nor have the charges been announced.
The curfew requires people to leave businesses before midnight, but hotels are allowed to operate later for their guests. The curfew also does not apply to residents, travel to and from work, or emergency services.
“We don’t ask for spring break in our city,” Mayor Dan Gelber said in a videotaped message released on Sunday. “We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, it’s too much disorder and it’s too difficult to police.”
Gelber said that the behavior of spring breakers has “created a peril that cannot go unchecked.”
According to the Associated Press, the city imposed a curfew last year after two shootings. In 2021, police made hundreds of arrests and confiscated dozens of guns during a rambunctious and rowdy spring break.
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[Featured image: Crowds walk up and down Ocean Drive during spring break on Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Miami Beach, Florida. (D.A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP)]