MIAMI (WSVN) - A man was taken into custody after, police said, he discharged a weapon outside of a church in Downtown Miami — all while holding a child in his arms.
According to City of Miami Police, they received multiple calls of a man shooting randomly at people who were feeding the homeless near Gesu Catholic Church, located along the 100 block of Northeast Second Street, Saturday night. Callers told police he was holding a girl while firing off rounds.
Investigators said it all started with an argument between two men that began at around 8 p.m., several blocks away from the American Airlines Arena during a Miami Heat home game.
Officials said the people who were feeding the homeless confronted one of the men, and that man, holding a gun in one hand and the child in the other, opened fire at them.
Witness Alfredo G. Ulacia said he feared the outburst would end in tragedy. “I thought they were all going to get killed. He [went], ‘pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,'” he said. “Like 10 shots.”
Churchgoers ran out and called 911.
“I heard the gunshots, ‘pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,'” said Alex Mesa. “I ran right out.”
Mesa said he became alarmed when he saw the girl in the man’s arms. “That’s what made me come out more and go after him,” he said. ‘If I’d seen him [by himself], I would have definitely just tagged him until the cops came.”
Officers responded to the scene and set up a perimeter. Shortly after, they apprehended the subject and took him in for questioning.
Witnesses identified that man as the shooter.
Meanwhile, crime scene investigators collected bullet casings.
There were dozens of people on the street at the time of the incident, but no one was hurt.
The church community who was disrupted by the gunfire was left troubled, especially because the crime happened so close to their house of worship.
“It’s terrible. You come here to go to church, and that’s what happens,” said Ulacia.
It remains unclear how the girl is related to the man.
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous.
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