Nine people were injured when gunfire erupted along a beachside promenade in Hollywood, Florida, on Monday evening, sending people frantically running for cover along the crowded beach on Memorial Day.
The nine people hurt included six adults and three children, according to Yanet Obarrio Sanchez, a spokesperson for Memorial Healthcare System. All of the victims were in stable condition, she said.
There were more than 20 mass shootings reported across the US during the Memorial Day weekend this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are wounded or killed. At least 16 people died in the other mass shootings for the holiday weekend.
Such bloodshed helped bring the total of mass shootings in the US so far this year to more than 260 as of Tuesday. Despite that high number, Congress has been unable to pass substantial federal gun control.
In Hollywood, police spokesperson Deanna Bettineschi said four children between the ages of one and 17 were hit, along with five adults between 25 and 65. One was in surgery late on Monday while the others were stable, she said. It was not immediately clear if the hospital was counting a 17-year-old as an adult.
Several of the wounded were taken to a children’s hospital, Bettineschi said.
The shooting happened shortly before 7pm local time, Bettineschi said. A fight broke out, at least one gun was pulled and shots were fired. At least one person was in custody, but police were looking for more suspects.
The 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’s unfortunate we have law-abiding citizens who come to our beaches and that gets interrupted by a group of criminals,” he said.
The shooting happened on the Hollywood Oceanfront Broadwalk near a convenience store, a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream store and a Subway sandwich shop.
Alvie Carlton Scott III said he was on the beach when he suddenly heard numerous gunshots. 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 promenade, said several young men were fighting in front of the stores when one pulled a gun and started shooting.
Hollywood Beach is a popular beach destination about 11 miles (17km) south of Fort Lauderdale and 20 miles north of Miami. The beach was expected to see more visitors than usual because of the Memorial Day holiday.
The Associated Press contributed reporting
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