MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man has died after shots were fired in Miami Beach, and the city’s police chief has vowed to step up police presence to help quell the recent violence.
Miami Beach Police responded to the 2300 block of Pine Tree Drive at around 9:20 p.m., Monday. Police said a man, later identified as 27-year-old Suwaye Amadou, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
About 20 minutes earlier, police had responded to reports of shots fired on Sixth Street and Collins Avenue, but they did not find a victim on the scene. Detectives are working to determine if the two scenes are connected.
“It’s a terrible event,” Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said. “Our heart goes out to the family of the victim. We’re going to do everything we can to bring that person to justice that committed the act.”
The following afternoon, Clements held a news conference outside of the department’s headquarters, where he outlined a plan for a stepped-up law enforcement presence in Miami Beach that would begin immediately.
“What we’re dealing with now is behavior and making sure that the behavior stays within reason,” Clements said.
Watch: Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements’ press conference
Starting Tuesday night, Miami-Dade Police officers will help patrol the city, and Coral Gables Police officers will join the effort over the weekend.
“We had originally planned to continue our enhanced staffing effort beginning this Friday. We will now change to do so immediately,” Clements said.
Also, parking garages in the entertainment district will close at 8 p.m. in an effort to keep the beach safe during spring break, Miami’s busiest time of year.
“We’re also prepared to close the MacArthur Causeway, if needed, if gridlock occurs,” Clements said.
Over the past several days, police said they have made over 900 arrests, with a third of them felonies. Half of those arrested came from out-of-state. Officers have also seized 78 firearms in the process.
“I can assure you the Miami Beach Police Department has gone ahead and done everything they can to not only keep the residents here safe but also to ahead and ensure that those visiting our city are safe as well, and we will continue to do so. We will not stop, we will not falter, and we will make every adjustment we need to our current plan in order to ensure that we can continue to do that,” Clements said.
Moments after Clements announced the change in policing, officers were called to the area of Second Street and Ocean Drive after a gun was fired. A man was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital after, police said, he accidentally shot himself in the leg.
“He was laying down, kind of babying it, hovering over it,” Jay Jones, who is visiting from Ohio, said.
As police prepare to control the behavior of spring breakers, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said one of the city’s largest concerns is the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have a pandemic, including, I think, really is sort of grand central for the variant,” he said. “This is all very perilous, and that, in fact, it could easily be something that spreads.”
Enforcing the city’s COVID-19 guidelines has become a challenge for leaders thanks to an executive order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which prevents cities, like Miami Beach, from collecting COVID-19-related fines.
“The governor said we’re not allowed to do that,” Gelber said. “Recently, he said we can’t do anything to promote that kind of compliance. We’re doing the best we can.”
Police said Amadou was a South Florida resident, and they are looking for tips in his case.
If you have any information regarding the fatal shooting, call Miami Beach Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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