Gun Found In Car Of Man Shot To Death During Urban Beach Week

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4)- Urban Beach Week started off smoothly, but that quickly changed by the end of the long Memorial Day weekend.

One person was killed in a police-involved shooting, four bystanders were shot and locals were shocked by the chaos by the time the weekend was over.

Late Wednesday night, Miami Beach police announced they found a gun inside the deceased man’s car.

“They located a Berretta 92F semi-automatic pistol,” said Miami Beach Police Det. Juan Sanchez. “That gun has been entered into evidence and will undergo ballistic testing.”

Police say ballistic testing will determine if the gun was ever fired during Sunday night’s melee.

After the fatal chaos, local leaders met Wednesday to debate the restrictions that come with Urban Beach Week.

As calls for drastic change to the city’s popular but polarizing – and unofficial – hip-hop street party increase, Miami Beach commissioners discussed the weekend during their monthly meeting. On the agenda: New ways to patrol the city’s annual Memorial Day weekend crowds, which typically reach between 200,000 and 300,000 people.

Commissioners’ proposals include curfews, forcing an early last call for clubs and bars, and eliminating all traffic in the city’s entertainment district.

“It’s time we just admit that we’re not equipped to handle a street festival with no place for people to go,” said Commissioner Deede Weithorn, who said a Saturday night out with police and code enforcement convinced her that the city should shut off traffic on Ocean Drive and Collins and Washington avenues after 10 p.m. during Urban Beach Week.

Business owners, police, activists and residents have been abuzz since early Monday morning, when officers shot and killed the driver of a car that allegedly struck a Hialeah officer, then led police on a three-block chase down Collins Avenue, crashing into cars, running up on the sidewalk and nearly crushing bicycle officers before skidding to a stop at 13th Street.

Commissioner Jerry Libbin, also president and CEO of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, has proposed a curfew, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

And while Mayor Matti Herrera Bower has dismissed that idea as unfeasible, she supports a move to end alcohol sales at bars and clubs earlier than the South Beach standard 5 a.m.

“It’s something that happens by itself. We in the city of Miami Beach do not give any permits that day. And even though it’s called an event, there is no such event,” she said referring to Urban Beach weekend. “I think that’s why it is so hard to control.”

Bower said there’s frustration from all parties.

“I want the residents to understand that we are all frustrated,” she said. “The staff is frustrated, the police is frustrated, the residents are frustrated.”

While commissioners debate what to do about Urban Beach Week, police and prosecutors are flushing out the details of the deadly shooting on Collins Avenue.

A YouTube video that captured the shooting — which led one activist to call South Beach a “warzone” — showed officers approaching the stalled car with guns drawn before unleashing a hail of gunfire into the vehicle. Police did not discover a weapon, but said they are investigating unconfirmed reports that shots came from the car and that passengers were in the vehicle and bailed out.

Four bystanders were shot, and police chief Carlos Noriega acknowledged that they may have been shot by officers.

Prosecutors are reviewing both of Monday’s police-involved shootings, which is standard procedure.

Miami Beach police brass was mum on the shootings Tuesday. They have yet to release the names of any of the 12 officers involved in the shootings, the three injured officers, the slain driver, four wounded bystanders, and the man arrested in the second shooting on Washington Avenue.

Sgt. Alejandro Bello, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said the dozen officers involved in the shooting acted reasonably.

“I’m confident that my officers and all officers involved acted appropriately,” Bello said. “We’re getting information that this guy was armed or that there was a shooting going on.”

Bello said he plans to lobby Beach politicians to do something about Urban Beach Week and how the event is handled by the city.

“This cannot continue this way,” he said.

Still, Bower says the city doesn’t have much ability to end Urban Beach Week, considering the throngs of tourists who flood Miami Beach’s Art Deco district don’t come for city permitted events, but for private concerts and parties.

“There is very little we can do,” she said, adding that scrutiny from the American Civil Liberties Union — which has called for a transparent and independent investigation into the Collins Avenue shooting — “ties our hands” when it comes to enforcement measures.

Urban Beach Week hit its 10th anniversary this year. Its history has been marked by controversy, including four fatal shootings, allegations of racial profiling and now police bloodshed. This year, police arrested 431 people, up from 382 last year.

Marlon Hill, a lawyer, represents Urban Beach Week promoters and he says they should not be the scapegoats.

“The promoters are only one stakeholder in this tourism economy of ours. The promoters have to work together with the business owners, residents, government officials to create a visitor experience that we can all be proud of,” Hill said.

Terrance Smith, the founder of and a main promoter of a number of Memorial Day weekend parties from Jamaica to Cancun, Mexico, said he is conducting an informal poll to see how people feel about Urban Beach Week and the fatal Monday morning shootings. He said he will promote the event again next year if people still are interested.

“I don’t care if the community says end this event,” he said. “If the people are coming and booking hotels, I can’t just stop it.”

And Carlene Sawyer, an ACLU representative who spends time each Memorial Day weekend monitoring the enforcement of South Beach crowds, said it may be shortsighted to let one “horrible” incident mar an otherwise successful event.

“People are calling for the city to close it down and what they’re trying to get is ordinances that would force that,” she said. “But this is a market-driven event.”

Resident Randi Hofer, a South Beach resident, offered some ideas on what could be changed.

“No liquor beyond the point [of leaving a bar] so it helps to get people who are running around with bottles of liquor. When you come across [the causeway] there should be scanners that scan every single license plate for homeland security, if you have a stolen car,” Hofer said.

Click here to read more about the recent South Beach Shooting.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

  • 305NMB

    they throw trash everywhere

    they damage everything in sight

    please end this

  • FEDUP2

    What do you expect from thugs and low life

  • Chucky...

    Sorry for my mis-spellings. I didn’t proof read…

    • Chucky...

      No problem; I can let it go.

      Everyone already seems to be on-board for what I had to say.

  • Kay

    I don’t understand why they can’t get rid of this urban week disaster once in for all. Every year, WE the CITIZENS of this city are forced to leave town in order to have a somewhat decent Memorial Day weekend all thanks to this nonsense. Stop thinking about the money City of Miami Beach, and think of the citizens that live in your city all year round.

  • ItsEnough

    I for one FLEE both the beach AND downtown Miami every year for Memorial Day Weekend. This weekend has become the largest concentration of crime and simply, disgusting behavior, in the history of South Florida. Not even spring breakers (all college/highscool kids) in places like Daytona and Panama City create such chaos. I am appalled at the City’s complete disregard for the well being of their residents, by permitting and enabling such a reunion of thugs and criminals and labeling under such an unassuming name as “Urban Beach Weekend.” give me a break. The behavior exhibited by the majority of these people is by no means “URBAN” in nature, being more akin to the behavior of animals in a feeding frenzy. I am tired of the Trash, Gunfire and damage to my car every year. This has got to stop. How come this doesn’t happen in other largely attended events such as Gay Pride Weekend or even the Ultra Music Festival/Winter Music Conference?

    • Kathryn Harlan

      agree.. this will COST THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH PLENTY!!

  • NoMoreJiveinthe305

    There should be no question that this event needs to be shut down. Four killings, thousands of arrests, dozens if not more injuries over the years. Do you actually think an event with that track record would be allowed to continue anywhere else? Miami Beach officials are trying to come up with ways to temper the madness while still keeping the hefty revenue. LOOK IN THE MIRROR. People are being killed, shot, injured and arrested by the truckload and you’re not shutting it down? Don’t claim it’s impossible to shut down. That’s a revenue cop out. How long do you think the tax paying residents of Miami Beach and South Beach are going to foster this nonsense?

  • mark

    Oh GREAT! Now the ACLU is involved! Why don’t they experience it first hand..
    Memorial day should be just that. Not the ” Thug and Criminal Reunion Week”!

  • Jorvilsa

    Urban Beach Weekend? LOL!! It should be called “Lowest of the low weekend”.

  • observerfromupnorth

    Well you know what needs to happen just as everyone else does when voting time comes, if you want to take back south beach or florida for that matter get them out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I for one will vote for this and to put more people in place that care about the people who support this state when the tourist forget us because our leaders not only let them down but most importantly the Florida tax payer.

  • Rebecca Miller

    PLEASE PLEASE get rid of Urban Beach week. I have lived in South Beach for 6 years, and i love this place EXCEPT during Memorial Day Weekend. The place gets trashed, crime goes way up and someone always gets shot. Its disgusting, and these people dont respect our town. Its time for it to end.

  • Mike Palez

    what really makes me mad is that Miami Beach is scared of ending Urban Week because they dont bewant to be labelled as a “racist” city…
    Ending Urban Week has NOTHING to do with race…its simply getting rid of an event that is a danger to the citizens of miami beach…

    • Zapata

      The “racist” labeling fear is B.S. It’s just a smokescreen for the REAL reason they won’t get rid of it which IS because an awful lot of very influential LOCAL individuals- like club, restaurant, and hotel owners make tons of MONEY from this weekend despite the chaos. Their pockets are full. What do they care who gets killed in the streets. :- (

  • michael wind

    new mayor fire the city attorney give lie detector test to everyone who has a gun or a badge no one will ever die,no one will ever be hurt its time to stop corruption…

  • Joe

    We don’t need the money from people that trash the city. More business will be closed next year, only the greedy will stay open. We welcome law abiding respectful citizens anytime. Others can stay home, I don’t mean go somewhere else, I mean stay home and trash your on place.

    • keepfighting

      Good one JOE!!! Boycott the event by closing. Hold your city responsible for this meeting of the savages. Bottom line…. behave or be out!!! Manners, tipping, courtesy…. human like behavior or stay out!!!

  • keepfighting

    “It’s something that happens by itself. We in the city of Miami Beach do not give any permits that day. And even though it’s called an event, there is no such event,” she said referring to Urban Beach weekend. “I think that’s why it is so hard to control.”

    SO CHANGE THE WEEKEND AND MAKE IT A DIFFERENT EVENT WEEKEND THAT REQUIRES PERMITS AND ATTRACTS A DIFFERENT CLIENTEL. “EUROPE” ON SOBE!!! There are ways around this ACLU BS. The city is obligated to provide “public safety” and protect “quality of life” for the residents and business owners. Don;t back down!!! So they don’t get permits…. require it now. There is obviously a website that promotes this low class behavior.

    • mann

      I believe that the majority of all the residents from Miami beach should rally and show the politician’s that there will be no voting from residents when elections come. there has to be pressure placed against these individual who run the city and that rely on the ones who pay the taxes to have them on seat. Put the pressure on everyone..

  • keepfighting

    “No liquor beyond the point [of leaving a bar] so it helps to get people who are running around with bottles of liquor. When you come across [the causeway] there should be scanners that scan every single license plate for homeland security, if you have a stolen car,” Hofer said.

    But why should you have to cater to bad behavior? Why should you reward bad behavior by continuing to allow it to happen? SoBe needs to get back to the real reason we have Memorial Day and celebrate it with peaceful, respectful and classy people that are here to enjoy the beaches in paradise.
    No matter what resctrictions you put in place, the savages will do the same thing only within the curfew hours or come with cases of liquor stolen from a retailer. I wonder how much drug, stolen money was spent this weekend and how about credit card fraud???
    How about urban weekend in OVERTOWN or LIBERTY CITY? “Sounds good to me!!! Move it to the area it needs to be in. Then there will be no one to complain!!!

  • keepfighting

    KKK lover… I love that idea!!! Don’t say it though…. CBS will take that comment off even though it has no profanity!! There was another poster that said they wanted to go to Africa for white week and this media forum deleted it. No profanity to cause the deletion.

    • keepfighting

      HOW ABOUT PURPLE WEEK, BLUE WEEK, GREEN WEEK,,,,, DELETE THAT!!! It;s only a color of the rainbow!! OH I said rainbow… delete this , the rainbow is related to gays…. did I say gays? OMG… delete that… it has to do with a lifestyle that is “pretty close “to being abnormal!!!! OMG… did I say abnormal? Delete that……
      You will NOT one up me!! I have my right to freedom of speech!!!
      Get a grip and deal with the real issue at hand. The out of control behavior that SoBe residents and business owners are not willing to put up with anymore.
      PS> Time for a lawsuit, I was threatened on this website…. to be shot!!! and it wasn’t deleted!!!!!!!!

      • racial profiling

        lmao freedom of speech in the USA?? hahahaha you’re naive

      • ThatAsianGuy!

        Hilarious!! Love it! By the way there were cars stolen from the condo i live in (downtown Miami), and if anyone has information that will lead to the return of the cars or an arrest there’s a very generous reward! Guess what weekend they were stolen on? I bet nobody can answer this one!

      • keepfighting

        LOLOL@ asian guy!!!!!
        What a joke … in south florida has become!!!! Add the media to it and it really becomes a joke! Throw in the politicians and whalha!!!! a 3 ring circus!!!!!! they all look like the keystone cops trying to get through a doorway!!!!

        I bet they were stolen MMday weekend!!!

  • keepfighting

    If you look at the demographics from the last census, you will see that white americans are a minority now. I think we need to take that statistic and run with it. Hands out…….. free everything from food to childcare and immunity to being jailed for crimes we commit, and yes, we need a white network now. We are the minority now. let the majority step up to the plate and pay taxes and volunteer and get charity to help our poor selves.

  • F

    Along with memorial day weekend, we should get rid of racists/white supremists who comment here. White weekend? You are a waste of a human being

    • keepfighting

      I’m not a white supremist, I am a white that is now a minority that is dependant on your tax dollars. I need welfare, sec 8 vouchers, food stamps, medicaid, wic, pregnancy and newborn care and a bail out of jail. Whiie in jail I need health care, dental care and mental care, not to mention 3 hots and a cot and clothing. You better get to work paying those taxes to support my white discrimainated against self. I need to contact the ACLU I am a minority and I need help. PS> Pass the crack pipe!
      NO PROFANITY HERE!!!! Freedom of speech!!!!

      • mann

        Well said.

      • if you like urban beach weekend you are low life

        speak the truth fighter!!!!!

  • Phil Gaines Forklift

    This year, police arrested 431 people, up from 382 last year.

    That’s a war zone! Way to keep the profiling sterotypes alive and kicking thugs.

    Some people just don’t know how to act. How many times has this been said?

  • trm

    close down ocean, collins, and washinton after ten pm, really…then where the heck is everyone coming into town supposed to park since all the public lots are on those streets also, that would drive the party cruisers with their loud music, throwing trash out and breaking stuff even farther into the residential area when we are all trying to sleep so we can get up and work at the places where the people are coming to party i have no prob with urban beach weekend, but keep all the cars and partying down where it belongs on ocean, collins, and washington, not here in the residential areas.

  • trm

    oh jeez, what a fabulously ignorant masterpiece of a creature you are, keepfighting. seriously, get off the internet and go back to hanging out with whatever backwater narrowminded redneck creeps you crawled away from to post such ridiculous vomit on this forum! I agree with F one hundred percent. Have a pleasant night!

  • keepfighting

    Time for tan people week!!!!

  • keepfighting

    SoBe residents don’t give up!!! Keep fighting against this behavior!!!! You have the American right to “public safety” !!! Read the Constitution and it will remind you of the basics of being an American and living in America and your rights.

  • keepfighting

    LOLOL@ asian guy!!!!!
    What a joke … in south florida has become!!!! Add the media to it and it really becomes a joke! Throw in the politicians and whalha!!!! a 3 ring circus!!!!!! they all look like the keystone cops trying to get through a doorway!!!!

    I bet they were stolen MMday weekend!!!

  • tom

    bet you they spent all their 1st of the month money on that weekend and now they are all broke

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