MIAMI (WSVN) - Police are searching for two men who shot and robbed a Swedish student in one of the busiest parts of Wynwood, Tuesday night.
Miami Ad School student Frank Hammar should be attending his college graduation, Friday. But instead, he is recovering from gunshot wounds at Jackson Memorial Hospital. According to his parents, he should be released from the hospital sometime next week. However, it will be a long road to recovery.
Tuesday night, Hammar celebrated his college graduation with his parents, who had just arrived in town from Sweden, at the trendy Wynwood Diner. When Hammar began walking home, at around 11:30 p.m., two men following the victim from behind approached him about half a block from the restaurant, near the intersection of Northwest Second Avenue and 26th Street.
Grainy surveillance video shows the victim on the sidewalk, looking behind him to see one of the men, seen wearing a hoodie, walking up to him while pointing a gun. Seconds later, a second male, wearing a sleeveless light-colored shirt, joins the other subject.
Police said the subjects demanded Hammar’s cellphone and wallet. One of the robbers allegedly told Hammar, “Put everything on the floor. I’m not kidding.”
The footage shows Hammar putting down his cellphone and then raising his hands while the robbers pat him down. Moments later, the video shows the subjects following Hammar as he starts to back away into the street, and that is when, police said, the men shot him in the abdomen.
A surveillance camera caught the men running away from the scene.
The victim’s brother, Peter Hammar, said he was almost shot in the head. “The guy said, ‘blast him’ and pointed a gun at his head,” Peter said as he spoke to 7News from Sweden. “My brother sort of shrugged back with hands up, and he missed, so things could have been really different right now, so we don’t really want to think about what could have been the situation today. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. We’re just trying to cope with the situation right now.”
A group of Hammar’s friends who were also at the diner at around the same time said they saw Hammar lying on the pavement. “I saw him on the floor. I saw the blood,” said a female friend of the victim.
The witnesses took a picture of the crime scene. “He was holding, I guess, where he got shot, and there was, like, blood everywhere,” said a male friend.
The victim is being treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where he is listed in critical but stable condition.
People in Wynwood said they are in disbelief that the shooting happened in such a busy, central area. “One of the things I like about Wynwood is, you feel safe here,” said a man. “It’s a mix of all different walks of life, literally. I enjoy it a lot. That’s unfortunate.”
“I think that’s just crazy, that it’s a small world, that we’re at the same restaurant, at the same moment, like, it’s crazy,” said the female friend who spotted Hammar.
Miami Ad School’s graduation ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday. Hammar’s parents are expected to attend in his place.
A spokesperson for the school released this statement:
“It saddened our Miami Ad School family to hear that on Tuesday night, a graduating student, was walking near NW 2nd after dinner with his parents. While he was walking two men held him up at gunpoint. He fought back and although he was able to keep his belongings, he was shot twice. The good news is that he is expected to make a full recovery. He was extremely lucky and should be released from the hospital in a week.
We send best wishes and healing thoughts his way and look forward to seeing his smiling face back at the school soon. This tragedy has not slowed him down and he is determined to attend graduation and continue on to New York to fulfill his career dreams. We can’t wait to watch him grow and inspire the next generation of students over the coming years.”
Hammar was planning a job-hunting trip to New York City after graduation. His family said they are trying to remain optimistic. “We were just super happy for him, and then this happens,” said Peter. “Life can turn around on a dime very unexpectedly, but things could have been worse, so we don’t want to be too negative right now.”
Since he is an international student, Hammar does not have health insurance in the U.S., so a GoFundMe page has been set up for his medical expenses.
Miami Ad School told 7News they will do something special at the graduation ceremony, Friday night, in honor of Hammar and his recovery.
Police continue to investigate.
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 $1,000 reward.
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