Police Arrest Teen Connected To South Beach Shooting

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Police have arrested a teenager in connection to an early morning shooting on South Beach.

Gunfire rang out on 5th Street between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive just after 12:30 a.m.

Nearly three dozen shell casings littered both sides of the street, some of the bullets were lodged in walls.

Witnesses said two groups of people were shooting at each other across the street.

Employees of the Cafe South Beach on one side of the street said they saw three men pull out guns and start shooting.

“One group was right here and one group was over there,” said cafe employee Sarif Aniar pointing across the street. “They start to fire at each other. You know pow, pow, pow.”

Surveillance video from inside the cafe shows people running for cover.

“We fall down and we were so scared. We were shocked,” said the employee. “I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. Thirty-five bullets. We have nothing (like this) in Middle East.”

No one was hit, according to police.

Witnesses said some of the shooters took off on foot, the other group sped off in a car.

Three people of interest were detained.

By 7 p.m. Tuesday, Miami Beach police said they released one person and arrested a teen. The teen is facing three charges, including firearm possession by a minor. No word on the third person.

Police have recovered a vehicle and two firearms on the MacArthur Causeway. Investigators believe they were used in the shooting but forensic tests are being conducted to confirm this.

Police have not said what led to the shooting.

Mitch Novick, who owns the Sherbrooke Hotel, points out that Tuesday’s incident happened in spite of the millions of dollars being allocated for more police.

“What we are experiencing here, unfortunately, is not a police issue, it’s a zoning issue,” he explained. “And the zoning allows for what has become a perpetual 24 hour carnival-like, crime-ridden circus on Ocean Drive.”

And just as Zika disappeared from the national headlines, The New York Times published a story highlighting the beach’s crime issues and crumbling image.

In fact, Novick says his hotel’s high-tech surveillance system has become a regular tool to help police solve crimes. He’s more than happy to help, time and time again.

“I have it on video,” he said. “Police were here today regarding a violent robbery which took place yesterday morning involving a knife.”

However, he believes the unchecked partying on Ocean is attracting people up to no good and in turn scaring away tourists and businesses.

“We’ve seen in exodus of Ralph Lauren, Barneys Co-Op, Diesel, Levi, Kenneth Cole, the list goes on and on,” he said. “They’re all leaving here because the place is no longer safe for their merchandise, for their employees, and who can blame them?”

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