Shooting at Shops at Merrick Park Leaves Gunman Dead, Two Wounded UPDATED
Shops at Merrick Park
Update, 10:30 a.m. April 9: According to WPLG, Equinox general manager Janine Ackerman, age 35, has died. Ackerman, a graduate of Florida International University, was a longtime professional in Miami's hospitality industry.
Update, 3:50 p.m. April 9: Mario Hortis, the Equinox trainer who was shot in Saturday's attack, has also died. According to the Miami Herald, the announcement was made by the gym in an email to members. The 42-year-old trainer was remembered for his "kind and caring soul" in the message, which noted that the gym's "sense of loss is too profound for words."
One person was killed and two were wounded Saturday as thousands of diners and shoppers hid in restaurant kitchens and behind store counters to seek shelter from a lone gunman at the Shops at Merrick Park, the upscale Coral Gables shopping center.
The Miami Herald reports the gunman was Equinox trainer Abeku Wilson. He walked into the gym around 1 p.m. and opened fire. According to a witness, five shots rang out, leaving general manager Janine Ackerman and trainer Mario Hortis wounded before Wilson turned the gun on himself. Hortis was conscious but bleeding heavily, according to the Herald, but the manager wasn’t moving.
According to Wilson's Instagram page, the trainer was a competitive bodybuilder who placed fourth in a national contest. His Facebook page is private.
The mall was the scene of a high-profile crime a year ago, when a robber accosted a woman who was getting into her Jaguar. He was later spotted at a Target in North Miami-Dade.
Miami publicist Dina Allende was on her way to lunch at Brasserie Central, a Merrick Park restaurant, when she called the hostess to say she was running late. Instead of the usual chitchat, Allende heard that the restaurant was on lockdown. "The hostess said not to worry about it, that everyone was inside and that there is a 'crazy guy shooting out there and the police have us on lockdown.'
"I said that I wanted to cancel our reservation and that I hoped everyone was OK," Allende said. "The poor girl was freaking out."
Allende had been delayed by a caravan of police vehicles. "There were about 15 police cars with sirens going," she said. "Little did I know, they were headed in the direction of the mall."
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