(WSVN) - Authorities have tried to get a handle on the South Beach chaos with curfews and closures, but far away from the beach, secret spring break parties continue, and one big bash ended with a bang. 7’s Karen Hensel investigates.
7News captured popping sounds on camera this past Saturday night.
A large house party in the Village of Pinecrest was ending, and guests spilled into the street.
Later, Pinecrest Police provided picture proof: it was gunfire.
Shell casings were found in the typically quiet neighborhood.
Thankfully, nobody was hit.
The shooting capped off a day of partying at this $3 million home, but it was no normal backyard bash.
This pool party was just one in a series of secret spring parties advertised online.
Some are held at private homes in South Florida.
Partygoers must buy tickets before they are emailed the location.
Anonymous neighbor: “It was very loud. It was very, very loud.”
7 Investigates first exposed the underground parties.
Neighbors were surprised by a crowd of 200 at this recently sold home in Northeast Miami-Dade.
Our cameras were also outside a pool party hosted at this Lauderhill home.
The group posts videos on Instagram.
Steve St Gerard, Lauderhill homeowner: “I was at home with my wife watching the news. I’m like, ‘Man, this music is so loud,’ and then, I see the story that you guys did. I couldn’t believe it.”
Steve St Gerard says big bashes at his neighbor’s home in Lauderhill have been a big problem since the start of the pandemic, and he has called police almost every weekend.
Steve St Gerard: “The glass is shaking. They have all types of lights, so I’m on the phone with the non-emergency number speaking to the dispatcher like, ‘Hey, can you hear this?'”
It’s hard not to hear this: a driver doing donuts.
The car left its mark on the street well after the party was over.
Steve says his family has had enough.
Steve St Gerard: “My kids need to sleep. You know what it is to have a newborn? You are up until God knows what time, and I finally get you to sleep, and the DJ starts to scream. Like, c’mon man.”
But what Steve did not know — until our first story aired — was the home’s connection to the online ads for spring break parties, where you have to pay to play.
Steve St Gerard: “I would have never known if you guys didn’t do that story on the news, and then, I started looking into it. I was like, ‘This is crazy.'”
Karen Hensel: “That they were selling tickets.”
Steve St Gerard: “That they’re selling tickets because it wasn’t normal.”
Karen Hensel (walking up): “Are you the homeowner?”
Karen Hensel: “My name is Karen Hensel. I’m with 7News.”
Although she wouldn’t give us her name, the woman who lives here said the only parties at the home are for family and friends.
Karen Hensel: “You’re not selling tickets and advertising?”
Woman: “Nope, nope.”
Karen Hensel: “Then, how did your house get advertised as a secret location?”
Woman: “That’s what I want to know.”
But after a call to her husband…
Woman: “Barry, Channel 7 News is here.”
Her story changed to “There was no party.” This despite our camera spotting her at the house as partiers arrived.
Woman: “We didn’t keep no party here.”
Karen Hensel: “Well, we saw the party.”
Woman: “There was no party here.”
Meanwhile, back in Pinecrest, the party was so big, ticket buyers were shuttled from a nearby shopping center to the home.
The party ended with what a police report described as “hundreds of individuals” packing the street.
An officer wrote three people were found “visibly injured with bloodied clothing” after being in a fight.
Those partiers told police, “They were visiting Miami from Baltimore.”
Pinecrest Police tell us they are still investigating the shooting. We have not gotten a response from the group organizing the secret spring break bashes — parties that are set to wrap up this weekend.
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