MIAMI (AP) — Two people were killed and seven others were wounded in a shooting early Tuesday in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City that has been plagued by violence, police said.
One victim was pronounced dead at the scene and the others who were shot or injured were taken to a nearby trauma center, where the second victim died.
At the crime scene, the sidewalk was littered with dozens of spent shell casings marked by green police cones and shattered glass by mid-morning Tuesday and people said they were afraid to talk about the shooting. Some 50 to 60 shots were fired, police spokeswoman Frederica Burden had said.
A crying woman was comforted by others. "My baby ain't deserved this. They treated him like a dog," she yelled repeatedly.
The deceased were identified as Kevin Richardson, 29, and Nakeri Jackson, 26.
"I'm not sure how it occurred," Burden said. "We're investigating it now. I don't know if they were all outside standing, some in a car, some not in a car. I don't know that yet."
One resident, Jose Hernandez, said gun violence is an almost daily occurrence in the area.
"I have friends who have been killed," Hernandez said. "This violence has to change."
Last April in Liberty City, a historically low-income neighborhood, a gunman opened fire into a crowd outside a corner store killing a woman and wounding two men.
Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said at the scene that city officials are going to look at their strategy against crime. "We are going to work with our law enforcement partners to make it better," he said.
Although a police official said six more officers and a canine unit had been assigned to the neighborhood, a news release from the Fraternal Order of Police said the shooting was a consequence of a lack of manpower and resources.
"We have reached a tipping point in the district where the criminal element has no fear of our police officers and are beginning to act with impunity," said the news release signed by Miami police Sgt. Javier Ortiz, who is president of the city's FOP lodge, according to its website.
The statement urged police not to respond to calls that require two officers alone.
"Folks, people are getting killed in groups three blocks outside of our police station. If this isn't a wakeup call to our stakeholders, I don't know what is," said Ortiz.
The police union described the shooting as a gangland style assault.
A Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said she couldn't release information, including how many people were brought there. She also said the patients had chosen not to release information about their medical conditions.