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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Not your average night in the heart of Coconut Grove after gunfire erupted near CocoWalk – a popular spot for tourists and residents.
“I heard three loud pops, it was insane, nobody knew what was going on,” said Marcel Portney.
Portney said he was eating with his family around 9 p.m. Thursday when they heard the shots and then saw people running.
“I saw three guys, they seemed out of place, I don’t know exactly,” said Portney, who was visiting Coconut Grove from Philadelphia. “I don’t remember what they looked like, I remember they were wearing hoodies.”
Sean Ohanlon told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he was also at CocoWalk when he heard the gunfire.
“It was only after the shots were fired that people came running in to Starbucks. I came out and then I saw people running out to see what happened,” said Ohanlon. “It was just three shots fired and after that everyone scrambled. I can’t remember the last time there was a shooting in this part of the Grove. I don’t know if anyone else can either. It’s just odd. It’s not been like this for a long time. This reminded me of the 1980s.”
Miami police said they received a call that a man had been shot in the leg. Witnesses told them it started as an altercation in a group of five or six people at CocoWalk and escalated to the shooting.
A man, who was apparently an innocent bystander, was shot in the leg. He walked about a block to a church to get help, that’s where fire rescue found him.
The news of the shooting had locals on edge.
“It was really weird this would happen, especially on a Thursday night. The Grove is normally really a safe and great place to be, so when that happened I was like, ‘Wow, things are really changing,'” said Portney.
Miami police have not released an official statement as to what happened and have not identified the victim or said what prompted this shooting.
CocoWalk is not commenting because a security director said the shooting did not happen on the property of CocoWalk.
Detectives scoured the area looking for surveillance tape. They urge witnesses to come forward.
Anyone with information should contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIP (8477). Callers will remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.