AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) – – Five people were taken to hospital after a shooting at the Aventura shopping center led to a lockdown at the busy shopping center. Police said they took several people into custody, but the gunman is still at large.
Aventura police and Miami-Dade fire rescue units responded to the scene just after 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
In one Tweeter, the police said: “We have several suspects involved in custody and interviewed by detectives. “
However, on Saturday night, the police were still looking for the shooter. They no longer believe the subject is on property.
Aventura Police Major Michael Bentolila said it all started with an argument between two groups of people outside the Hugo Boss store near Nordstrom.
“Two groups of individuals, as far as we can tell, engaged in a verbal altercation which then resulted in a physical altercation,” he said. “An individual showed a weapon. From the other group, another individual pulled out a gun and actually used it. “
7News cameras captured a heavy police presence, including Miami-Dade police units and a police helicopter. Several parts of the mall were sealed off with duct tape at the crime scene.
A video posted to social media by Only in Dade showed officers sweeping the area with their guns in hand.
A cellphone video showed a person appearing to be handcuffed being walked out of the mall by officers.
According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, five persons were transported to hospitals in the region. Officials said one of the patients was a trauma alert.
Police said three of the victims were injured in the shooting. Their injuries are not life threatening.
Two other victims were injured as people tried to exit the mall.
Witnesses said they heard up to eight gunshots. Others said they heard screams.
“We were in line, and out of nowhere we heard a rush of people, like, just running,” said a customer who identified as Amy. “I went to a corner and the employees called us from the back. We stayed there for a good 30 minutes, then they transferred us to another area, like a safer area, and now we are out.
In cell phone video posted on Twitter, shoppers were seen standing in a store. In the caption, user @____Shakia wrote: “Literally locked in a store in Aventura Mall because there is an active shooter.”
Some buyers said they were initially confused as to what happened and were eventually asked to take shelter.
“I was at JCPenney, and we heard – it sounded like fireworks, and I saw people running, running,” Marvel buyer Milne said, “and I started running too. , But [I didn’t know] what was happening. They kept saying, “There is a shooter, there is a shooter!” And then I hid near JCPenney’s jewelry station. I just stayed there. I didn’t move and people continued to run.
In another video posted on Twitter, shoppers are seen running into an outdoor parking lot.
Another video showed dozens of buyers walking down a stairwell.
Josephina Golubov said Saturday was her first day at her new job in the mall.
“Twenty minutes after I started my shift you hear gunshots and everyone is running backwards,” she said.
An Apple Store employee said she was forced to wait inside the store for almost two hours.
Police said the shooter was last seen wearing a black Adidas tracksuit with white stripes and black shoes.
“Our detectives go through videos, interviews and put all the pieces together,” Bentolila said.
“I’m just thankful that I’m alive and that everything is fine because it was a very scary experience,” Amy said.
Just before 8 p.m., police said the mall stay closed for the night. It is scheduled to reopen Sunday at noon.
All westbound lanes of the William Lehman Causeway have been temporarily closed. They have since reopened.
If you have any information about this shooting or where the shooter is located, call Aventura Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $ 5,000.
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