8 People Shot, Including 5 Kids, at Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in Miami

At least eight people were shot during Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in Miami on Monday, police said.

The shooting occurred at Memorial Park in Northwest Miami-Dade around 4 p.m., two hours after a Martin Luther King Jr. parade had ended, police said.

Juan Perez, Miami-Dade police director, took to Twitter to condemn the shooting by calling it “shameful” and “not what the followers of Dr. King Jr. want out of our community.”

Detectives evacuated the park and arrested two suspects as well as recovered two weapons police said.

Police say among the eight people shot were three adults and five minors. An 18-year-old woman and 30-year-old Michael Clarke remain in stable condition while 20-year-old Jerome Battle is in critical condition, theMiami Herald reports.

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Three female teen victims — Lajada Benson, 14, Nakya-Senat Butler, 15, and Alfanesha Timesages, 17 — were taken to a local hospital in stable condition. Two other minors — Ciara Johnson, 11, and Keionna Green, 13 — were also grazed by bullets. They were treated and released at the scene, WTVJ-TV reports.

Paradegoers who gathered to honor the civil rights leader quickly ran for cover when gunfire erupted and some were separated from their families during the chaos.

Shante Kelsey, the mother of the 18-year-old victim, identified her as Shawnteria Wilson. She told the newspaper that she had been separated from her daughter during the festivities and found out that she was shot moments later.

A motive behind the shooting and if other suspects remain at large are unclear.

The Pan-African & Caribbean Family Festival was also held at the park, but police couldn’t confirm if the shooting had any connection to that event.

 

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