Around 2:30 this morning, gunfire strafed the courtyard of a Liberty City apartment building, wounding up to ten and killing two in the worst instance of mass violence in Miami this year. Police are still sorting through the chaos to determine what happened.
"We have no motive at this time," Miami Police spokeswoman Frederica Burden tells Riptide. "We're interviewing witnesses. We are basically trying to figure out what transpired around 2:30 in the morning to have that many people outside at one time."
Update: Police have identified the two victims killed in the shooting as 29-year-old Kevin Richardson and 26-year-old Nakeri Jackson. Officials now say that seven other people were seriously wounded in the attack.
The shooting happened at a building near NW 12th Avenue and 65th Street, a corner of two-story apartment complexes.
Victims rushed to the hospital by ambulance or their own cars, and witnesses scattered along with them, complicating the investigators' job this morning to the point that they're not certain how many people were hit.
"It was difficult to tell because some transported to the hospital on their own and some by rescue transport," Burden says.
One victim died at the scene and another was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where several others are still being treated.
Police have swarmed the area and are conducting dozens of interviews to figure out the basics of what happened. "We have investigators here and some at the hospital," Burden says. "Some witnesses are still here, and many have left. Once we all have a meeting of the minds later this morning, we'll have more information."
Update: By 10 a.m., dozens of bystanders and neighbors had surrounded the taped-off police area.
Many expressed frustration that another mass shooting had marred their neighborhood. Liberty City and nearby Little Haiti have been the site of several in recent years, including a shooting in 2009 that killed two and wounded 16 and a string of killings throughout the summer of 2012.
"This is the kind of tragedy that happens here all the time," said Anthony Johnson, a neighbor who lives across the street from the shooting scene. "We get hit close to home, and nobody does nothing."
Like several other residents in the area, Johnson complained that cops seemed to be in the area only after the tragedy occurred.
"How am I supposed to feel safe here when the police only show up when it's too late?" he asked.
Regina Wilson, another neighbor and lifelong Liberty City resident, echoed Johnson's concerns.
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"The police obviously ain't doing nothing. That's why people ain't scared to come here and shoot up our homes," she said. "Now they're acting like they got the situation under control, but what about next time? What about all the other people that get killed here?"
-- Sabrina Rodriguez contributed to this report