5 hospitalized after shooting at Miami-area mall

AVENTURA, Fla. — Five people were hospitalized Saturday after authorities responded to reports of a shooting at a Miami-area mall, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials.

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Authorities responded to the Aventura Mall shortly before 4 p.m. EDT, the Miami Herald reported. Videos on social media showed people scattering and hiding in stores, while other people were streaming out of the mall toward the parking garage, the newspaper reported.

Update 7:58 p.m. EDT May 8: Police said three of the victims were injured during the shooting. The two other victims suffered injuries while people were attempting to exit the mall, WSVN reported. Aventura police reported that three people were hospitalized.

Original report: Two groups of shoppers began arguing outside the Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton stores in the mall when one showed a weapon and another pulled his and began firing, Aventura police Major Michael Bentolila told the Sun-Sentinel.

Detectives are questioning three suspects who were taken into custody, according to the Herald.

Aventura City Manager Ron Wasson confirmed that at least one person is in police custody, the Herald reported. Aventura police later tweeted that there were “several suspects” involved in custody.

Police were still investigating the incident and were sweeping the area with an evidence recovery animal, Wasson told the Herald. “They just want to make sure if someone might have dumped a weapon, we don’t miss it,” Wasson said.

It was not immediately clear what the extent of the victims’ injuries were, WPLG reported.

Cynthia Parlin, a tourist from Savannah, Georgia, said she was inside Macy’s in the mall when she heard four gunshots.

“People were stumbling, running, screaming. We smelled the smoke in the air,” Parlin told the Herald. “Everybody was terrified.”

Derek Smart told the Sun-Sentinel he heard gunfire from about 100 to 200 feet away. Smart said he ducked for cover behind a set of cabinets with a friend. With his hand on his phone, he lifted his arm above the cabinet to record the chaos.

“There were so many kids screaming,” Smart told the newspaper. “It was very traumatic. A lot of people were crying. It was so frantic.”

Saturday’s incident occurred nearly a year after a man fired shots inside a Nordstrom store at the mall, WPLG reported. Two people were injured in the May 22, 2020, shooting, and police arrested Jose Belony, the television station reported.

In 2020, an argument broke out between four people who knew each other, according to WPLG.

Check back for more on this developing story.