By TERRY SPENCER (Associated Press)
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Nine people were injured Monday night when gunfire erupted along a boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida, sending people frantically running for cover along the way. along the busy beach on Memorial Day.
Several of the injured were taken to a children’s hospital, police spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi said.
The nine people injured included six adults and three children, according to Yanet Obarrio Sánchez, a spokeswoman for Memorial Healthcare System. All the victims were in stable condition, she said.
Bettineschi said four children between the ages of 1 and 17 were injured, along with five adults between the ages of 25 and 65. One was in surgery Monday night and the others were stable, he said. It was not immediately clear if the hospital was counting a 17-year-old as an adult.
Bettineschi said the shooting happened just before 7 p.m. A fight broke out, at least one gun was drawn and shots were fired. At least one person was in custody, but police were looking for more suspects.
Police Chief Chris O’Brien said thousands of people were in the area and dozens of police officers responded, including some who were nearby.
“It is unfortunate that we have law-abiding citizens who come to our beaches only to be interrupted by a group of criminals,” he said.
The shooting happened on Hollywood Oceanfront Broadwalk, near a convenience store, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor and a Subway sandwich shop.
Alvie Carlton Scott III said he was on the beach when he suddenly heard numerous shots. He said he hid behind a tree and then fled the area after a police officer told people to run.
Jamie Ward, who was also on the sidewalk, said several young men were fighting in front of the stores when one pulled out a gun and began shooting.
Videos posted to Twitter Monday night showed emergency medical teams responding and providing aid to multiple injured people.
Police said there would be a heavy officer presence as the investigation continues. Officials also set up an area for family members to gather.
“Thank you to the good Samaritans, EMTs, police officers, and emergency room doctors and nurses for your immediate response to help the victims of today’s shooting,” Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said in a statement.
Hollywood Beach is a popular beach destination about 11 miles (17 kilometers) south of Fort Lauderdale and 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Miami. The beach was expected to receive more visitors than usual due to the Memorial Day holiday.