MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Authorities have added a massive bump to a reward for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for a shooting that erupted at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.READ MORE: CBS4 Investigates: Man Accused Of Killing Ryan Rogers Could Have Faced Two Decades In Prison For Prior Crime
It’s now at $21,000 – a 20,000 hike from the previous $1,000 offered.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, saddened and angry about the shooting, said Tuesday evening that Monday’s events do not match Martin Luther King Jr.’s message.
“He was a man who talked about peace, that talked about equality.. and sadly we sit here today talking about victims that were shot in a playground in a park at the finale of a great parade,” said Perez during a news conference attended by other county leaders, pastors, concerned citizens and one of the shooting victims.
The police director asked anyone with information to come forward and dangled a hefty reward of $21,000 to find the culprit or culprits.
“Enough is enough. We need information right now,” said Perez.
Perez said while there have been no arrests they have leads in the case and know a gang fight started it all.
Ahead of the news conference, Miami-Dade Police officers distributed flyers throughout Martin Luther King Jr. Park, where the shooting happened, and surrounding areas with information and suspects’ description.
The shooting happened at around 3:40 p.m. on Monday at the park located at 6000 NW 32nd Court.
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.READ MORE: Glenneisha Darkins Perseveres During Art Week Despite Challenges
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue transported six of the injured to local hospitals. The other two, both minors, were treated on scene.
Jerome Battle, 20, underwent two surgeries after he was shot in the leg and back.
“I remember walking to the park and when I heard the first shot I took off running,” said Battle, speaking from his hospital bed.
Jerome’s sister, Ambresha, was with her brother in the park just before he was shot.
“He grabbed me and was ‘like my stomach, my stomach’. So by the time he did that I thought, I didn’t know what had happened because his stomach got bigger,” said Ambresha Battle.
She said they both stumbled for cover along with the massive crowd. Minutes before, Ambresha said her brother posted a picture of them in the park on Snapchat.
“We were all in the park and they started fighting, then everything broke out, it was hectic, I guess something happened and everyone bomb rushed,” said Ambresha.
The families can’t believe that a celebration to honor a civil rights leader was cut short by senseless violence.
“I thought it shouldn’t happen because we deserve to have fun, and show that we can out there with a lot of people, but after what happen we can’t do that anymore,” said Ambresha Battle.
“I cannot say it enough: this violence has to end,” said county Commissioner Audrey Edmonson in a statement. “To end the festivities with gun violence is a dishonor to the memory of our country’s most well-known peaceful freedom fighter and leaves a blemish on our community.”
Police did detain two people Alexander Brito-Peralta and Tavarius Flowers, for carrying a concealed weapon. Police say they were at the park but they have not connected them to the shooting.MORE NEWS: New Warning For Parents Regarding Omicron COVID-19 Variant
Anyone with information in the case is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.