A day of celebration was marred when eight people were shot and several others injured during a stampede to get out of Miami-Dade’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, on a day when the civil rights icon was honored across the country.
Police had two people in custody and had recovered two weapons within an hour of Monday’s gunfire. But they said it was too early to offer a narrative into why a day that was supposed to be about nonviolence erupted into mayhem.
The shooting at the park, 6000 NW 32nd Ct., happened about two hours after the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, an event that typically attracts hundreds, even thousands, to celebrate the slain civil rights leader. The parade makes its way down Northwest 54th Street, eight blocks from 62nd Street — or Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
All was calm until around 3:40 p.m. when shots rang out, even as bikers and ATV riders roared past in celebration. Their motto: “Bikes up, Guns down.”
Police evacuated and closed the park after the shootings as investigators combed the area for clues. The festival at the park, where families gather to eat, play and listen to music, has become a staple of the post-MLK parade.
Terrell Dandy, who was in the park, said all was peaceful before he heard three gunshots. Then the crowd began to stampede out of the park.
“It was good until you had these idiots out there shooting,” Dandy said. “It was just a bunch of commotion.”
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SOURCE: Miami Herald