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Two Arrested In MLK Shooting, Police Say ‘Put Guns Down’

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There’s a break in the case of a shooting at MLK Memorial Park on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, flanked by community members said, two people, a 17-year-old and 18-year-old were arrested in the shooting.

“We took two individuals into custody for that shooting…this is still evolving. The attorney’s office and our detectives are working very hard,” said Perez.

Police identified those taken into custody as 18-year-old Gerrell Brownlee and 17-year-old Robert Britt. Both have been charged with attempted second-degree murder. Brownlee was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon while Britt was charged with possession of a firearm by a minor.

Despite a break in the case, Perez called on any culprits to stop the violence during Tuesday’s press conference.

“Enough is enough. The people are fed up with the violence,” said Perez. “If people use violence, force, we are going to hunt them down….What we ask is put the guns down. Stop the violence so we don’t have to have these conferences anymore.”

Perez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench he could not say if more arrests were expected.

“Out of respect, let us do our work,” he said. “This case is still evolving and we need to try and finish up and put all the pieces together.”

While arrests were made, they are still asking the community to come forward with any information they might have.

“If anybody has information that can continue to build this case, we ask that you come forward,” said Perez.

Members of the community also wanted to spread the word to stop the violence.

“On behalf of the parade committee, and the men and woman around, we’re glad the arrest happened,” said Minister Brian Dennis who is a part of the board who puts on the parade every year.

He went on, “We always say when the police shoot black folk that they didn’t have to do that…the young men shot into a crowd.”

Activist Mae Christian, who said she had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the famous March in Selma, Alabama, made an impassioned plea.

“At this point I am asking brothers to put their gun down.  I am asking that today. Remember that you are your brother’s keeper,” she said.

Director Perez first made the announcement during a Miami-Dade commission meeting Tuesday morning.

“One of the most disturbing incidents we’ve had so far this year happened on Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” said Perez. “A day when we celebrate the legend that he was and what he stood for. The fact that we are all supposed to be standing for equality and peace and the things he sacrificed his life for. When we had that horrific incident where so many people were shot at the park, it made national news. So hot off the press, right now, Ricky Carter, the major from the Northside district and his outstanding staff have two in custody responsible for the shooting of those people.”

Perez told the commission he could sleep better knowing that two of those responsible for the shooting had been taken off the street.

Investigators have said the shooting was sparked by a gang fight at the park located at 6000 NW 32nd Court around 3:40 p.m. Witnesses reported hearing gunfire just west of where food trucks and booths had been set up.

A total of eight people, ages 11 to 30, were hit by flying bullets. Six of the injured were taken to the hospital, the other two were treated on the scene.

Eighteen-year-old Shawnteria Wilson was wounded near her left knee and 20-year old Jerome Battle was shot in the buttocks.

“It’s finally over I just want to continue with my life,” Battle said. “There’s no hard feelings towards them.”

Watch the full press conference below.

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