Suspect charged with firing into taxi cab in South Beach

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man taken into custody after, police said, he shot into a taxi minivan on a busy South Beach street is facing some serious charges.

Twenty-five-year-old Dontavious Johnson was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, shooting a deadly missile, criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence.

Investigators said Johnson discharged his firearm into an occupied taxi near Sixth Street and Collins Avenue, Saturday, just before 5:45 p.m. The suspect, a Georgia resident, then chased another man into a liquor and pointed a gun at him.

Watching the incident unfold, officials said, was a Miami-Dade Schools Police officer. “The officer heard the shots being fired. He immediately gave chase,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.

7News cameras captured multiple young men being placed in handcuffs and taken away by officers shortly after. “We located who we believe is the shooter, along with several other potential subjects,” said Rodriguez. “They’re persons of interest at this point.”

An overhead view of the immediate aftermath of the shooting, captured by a surveillance camera, shows several people running from the taxi.

The manager of the Steve Madden store, located at 635, Collins Ave., said the whole situation was terrifying. “The people who were hit in the taxi cab, they ran into the store,” said Carlos Ruiz. “Then I look over, and I see one of the guys who were in the store dripping blood everywhere, and then the guys started shaking at the door and begging and said ‘Let me out,’ and they all just ran out of the store.”

The security footage shows the men hesitating as they get out of the taxi right in front of the store that became part of the crime scene. Officers rushed in moments later.

“There were police everywhere, and then the taxi cab driver was parked right outside the store, and they were searching his cab, because there were four bullet holes in it,” said Ruiz.

Area resident Michael deFilippi said the incident is a most unwelcome disruption to holiday weekend festivities. “It’s just unfortunate, ’cause there’s a lot of good people out here having a great time, and it just takes a couple of bad apples,” he said.

The shooting took place in the middle of Urban Beach Week, which draws tourists from across the country to Miami Beach.

For the first time, the city is also hosting the Air and Sea Show on the holiday weekend. The event is a national salute to America’s heroes.

“We thought that maybe this was the year, finally, to begin to create a different narrative, to make it a weekend that’s not just for folks who like hip-hop or something else, but actually for everybody,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales.

Police said they were unable to find the man they believe may have been shot.

Ruiz said the man bleeding inside the store refused medical treatment before he took off.

Police said Johnson confessed to the shooting. Officers recovered a gun at the scene.

The other men who were detained have since been released.

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