MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews have taken a man to the hospital after, officials said, he was injured in a police-involved shooting in South Beach that took place as officers clear out parts of the tourist destination in an effort to minimize large gatherings.
7News cameras captured an active scene near Fifth Street and Ocean Drive, as police cruisers swarmed the area, at around 8:30 p.m., Saturday.
In a tweet, police said they were “responding to a call about a man with a gun inside the building. They made contact with that man, and that’s when the officer’s gun discharged.”
Cellphone video captured crews carrying the man to an ambulance. The patient was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in unknown condition.
No officers were injured.
Surveillance video captured the panic that followed the incident, as dozens of people were seen running away from the scene.
The shooting took place hours Miami Beach officials confirmed in a series of tweets the city is in the process of shutting down several busy areas of the beach and Lummus Park in an effort to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
“The city manager instituted a few additional measures in place this evening,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
Just after 6:30 p.m., 7News cameras captured Miami Beach Police SUVs parked along the beach to ensure crosses over onto the area that has been closed off to the public.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said that spring break festivities are done in the city for 2020.
“To the extent that anyone can declare spring break is over, it is over this year,” he said.
Police officers are clearing the beach from Seventh to 10th streets extending all the way to Collins Avenue.
Effective immediately immediately, that part of the beach will be closed to the public after 5 p.m.
Revelers who spoke to 7News were not happy with the city’s decision.
“How are you going to make us leave at 5 o’clock, you know what I mean? The beach is still light out. How are going to leave at 5 o’clock?” said a man holding a drink in a pineapple. “I’ve got a pineapple with me. I’m just trying to enjoy myself. I’m not going to argue the law, but I just don’t understand it.”
“Even though there’s no gathering on the beach, there’s gathering in the surrounding area, so the spread is still inevitable if there are any cases out here,” said a woman,
Officers are also working on reopening Ocean Drive to vehicular traffic after having closed on Thursday, with westbound turnouts at Eighth, 10th and 12th streets. Parking has been eliminated on the east side.
“We’re adapting to the needs of the community. We want to make sure we provide a safe environment for everybody,” said Rodriguez.
Police have also begun stopping the congregation of large groups of people at Lummus Park and will begin placing signage with health warnings about COVID-19.
Parking will not be allowed along Collins Avenue in the entertainment district. Officers will be enforcing this with barriers.
Gelber stressed the city is enforcing these measures as part of a plan to help prevent people from getting sick.
“It is important people understand what is happening in our city, because there are lots of cities, over 30 in Dade County and hundreds in Florida,” he said. “We are an economic engine, and it’s important we lead the way on this.”
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