MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are investigating after gunfire broke out overnight at a banquet hall in Miami Gardens, leaving four people injured.
When Miami Gardens Police responded to Champions Banquet Hall after 4:30 a.m., Friday, they found four people shot. “I thought balloons were popping,” said witness Charles Griffith. “It ended up being gunshots, and someone family-related got shot.”
Witnesses said the gunfire broke out during what was supposed to be a birthday celebration on Thursday that trickled into the early morning hours of Friday. “Everybody was just having fun,” said Griffith. “That was it.”
People who weren’t at the party but who were nearby in the plaza where the banquet hall is located, at 2730 NW 167th St., did their best to stay out of harm’s way. “I heard some commotion, I heard some shooting, but I don’t know what was really happening outside,” said truck driver Jeremiah Muiruri. “I just stayed inside the truck.”
Another witness, Dainty Doodaz, remembers seeing everyone scrambling. “Everybody come through the door,” she said. “I start running. Jamaican people don’t wait to see what’s going on. Once we see people running, we just run.”
Paramedics transported three of the victims to local hospitals, while one woman had to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
“I was just trying to run for my life and got shot,” said that victim, who asked not to be identified.
The crime scene kept the daycare located next door to the banquet hall closed. Parents were eventually able to drop off their children.
“Violence is everywhere,” said a concerned mother. “We just have to pray for our kids.”
Police blocked off the banquet hall’s parking lot for hours. Friday afternoon, authorities had removed the crime scene tape outside the banquet hall, but detectives remained at the scene searching for clues and interviewing witnesses.
The gunman remains at large.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.