SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Gunfire broke out outside of the Trump International Beach Resort in what police described as a road rage incident that left a man at a nearby rental car business dead and injured a woman and child.
Speaking with reporters, Miami-Dade Police officers said they had detained several people in connection with Sunday afternoon’s shooting and recovered several firearms.
Authorities said the shootout stemmed from a dispute between two rappers who were in South Florida to attend the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival that took place this weekend at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Police from multiple agencies and fire rescue units responded to at least two scenes at around 2 p.m.: in front of the resort, located at 18001 Collins Avenue, and a Hertz Rent a Car on the other side of the road, near Collins Avenue and 181st Street.
Investigators said 43-year-old Mohamad Jradi, a Hertz employee, was sitting in a gray van in a parking lot near the business when he was hit by a stray bullet that traveled 1,000 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“They unfortunately discovered a male deceased from an apparent gunshot wound to the head inside the vehicle,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
Outside of the resort, investigators said, bullets pierced a black Suburban, striking a 19-year-old woman.
“There was a female, a 19-year-old black female, that was inside suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper extremities,” said Zabaleta.
Witnesses said the Suburban was carrying rapper NBA YoungBoy. Videos posted to social media showed the bullet-riddled SUV and a man identified as the rapper.
“It didn’t hit him. It hit the girl he was with,” someone is heard saying in a clip.
Officials identified the woman as Kaylyn Marie Long. Paramedics transported her to Aventura Hospital, where she was last listed in stable condition.
Witnesses described the chaotic moments when they realized a shooting was taking place.
“Everybody went to the floor, people just running inside,” said a woman. “I see people running from the Trump hotel to the beach.”
“I heard the gunshots, thought it was fireworks at first,” said another woman.
Many witnesses ducked into nearby restaurants in an attempt to seek a safe space.
“We just tried to get them inside, but they weren’t hearing,” said restaurant employee Andrea Martinez, “and they were literally escaping on the back door, on the exit, just running from the back, just crossing the street, just running nowhere.”
7News cameras captured several vehicles with their windows shot out.
Officials said, at around the same time, a 5-year-old boy across the street from the resort was grazed by a bullet. The child, who was in South Florida on vacation, is expected to be OK.
Police said four of the people who were taken into custody in connection to the shooting were apprehended while attempting to enter Rolling Loud.
Zabaleta said officers found an arsenal of guns in the process.
“We have seized several firearms,” he said.
Officials believe the stray bullet that hit Jradi traveled the length of two football fields, across three lanes of busy Collins Avenue traffic and past two large parking lots filled with cars.
“A stray bullet traveled from the property of the Trump International, across the street, through the parking lots and striking this individual,” said Zabaleta.
Detectives said Jradi had just finished his shift and was just leaving work when he was shot.
Sunday night, his body remained at the scene, and the parking lot near where he was shot was still cordoned off with crime scene tape.
Officials said the victim had worked in the city for more than 12 years.
Sunny Isles Beach Mayor George “Bud” Scholl expressed his condolences to Jradi’s family, adding that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
Scholl said city officials have reached out to the employers and family members of the victims. He said he plans to hold a round table meeting with mayors of surrounding communities to discuss options to help bring an end to the gun violence.
Witnesses said they were saddened that such violence could unfold during such a special day for families.
“Today is Mother’s Day, so, not a nice experience,” said Martinez.
Friends of Jradi took to social media to remember him. In a post, a friend wrote, “Your beautiful smile, beautiful heart, beautiful soul will be missed, Angel.”
The Hertz business remained closed for business on Monday with a sign on the door explaining to customers that “due to unforeseen circumstances and emergency purposes” the store will be closed until further notice.
Monday afternoon, a Hertz spokesperson released a statement that read, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our Hertz employee Mohamad Jradi in yesterday’s tragic event. He was a highly valued member of our Sunny Isles Hertz family for over 12 years, and he will be greatly missed.”
The people detained were taken to Miami-Dade Police headquarters in Doral for questioning.
In the meantime, detectives are reviewing surveillance video and have asked the public for help.
“We’re urging that anybody that perhaps saw something, no matter how minor it may be, [to come forward]. You may not think it’s too important,” said Zabaleta. “Now that you know that somebody lost their life, a child could have lost their life, perhaps you know what happened and can provide us that information.”
Police also responded to the Days Inn at 18401 Collins Ave. and another nearby location in Aventura, but it remains unclear whether they are connected to the shooting outside the Trump resort.
As of Monday afternoon, no arrests have been made.
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 $3,000 reward.
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