MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police took four men into custody after, they said, two of them were spotted wielding an assault rifle on the roof of a South Beach apartment building, prompting officers to close down two major streets, Friday afternoon.
According to Miami Beach Police, a 911 caller reported he saw the armed subjects on top of the Del Rio Condominiums at 11th Street and Collins Avenue, at around 2 p.m. The caller said he saw the two men holding a high-powered assault rifle. The caller then saw one of them putting on a mask, prompting the eyewitness to contact authorities.
About 15 minutes later, responding officers closed down Collins and Washington avenues, from 10th to 11th streets, while they set up a perimeter and worked to secure the area. “A response like this would be warranted in any situation,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, “and given the climate of the nation at this time, like, it’s the campaign, if you see something, say something. That’s exactly what someone did, and this is how police responded.”
The 911 caller shared a photograph showing one of the subjects holding the rifle on the roof. “He actually captured a photograph and shared that with our investigation, which proved to be crucial,” said Rodriguez, “so we knew exactly what we were dealing with and how we were going to respond to this call today.”
“I was just curious as to what was going on,” said an onlooker.
Police found four men inside one of the units at the Del Rio with the rifle and a large amount of ammunition, at around 3:15 p.m. “We were able to make entry into the unit. Thankfully, no one was injured, and we’re able to now investigate the legality of that firearm, as well as the ammunition and what, if any, intentions were to be used with that,” said Rodriguez.
All four men were detained.
7News cameras captured officers taking the subjects out of the apartment building in handcuffs, one by one, and then placing them in the back of squad cars.
Collins and Washington avenues have since reopened.
Friday night, detectives were still interviewing the subjects. It is unclear what their intentions were and whether they will face any charges.
Hours after the street closures, tourists reacted to the photograph of the masked subject. “That’s a little frightening,” said one woman.
“We thought that this was a safe place to come and visit,” she added.
“I’m getting goose bumps right now,” said one man. “It’s crazy.”
One tourist said the incident is disquieting enough to make her think twice about her vacation plans. “It could have been much worse. You’ve got to be careful,” she said. “You never know what’s gonna happen.”
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