US: Deadly shooting in Florida’s Miami area, say police

Miami-Dade police director Alfredo Ramirez III said at least two killed, 20 wounded after gunmen fired into a crowd gathered for a concert.

Miami-Dade police investigate near shell case evidence markers on the ground where a mass shooting took place outside of a banquet hall in Hialeah, Florida [Joe Raedle/AFP]

At least two people have died and more than 20 were injured in a shooting outside a billiards club in Hialeah in the US state of Florida.

“I am at the scene of another targeted and cowardly act of gun violence, where over 20 victims were shot and 2 have sadly died”, Miami-Dade police director Alfredo Ramirez III said in a tweet early on Sunday.

People crowded the venue, which was “hosting a scheduled event and several patrons were standing outside”, Miami-Dade Police Department said in a statement.

When a Nissan Pathfinder approached the scene, “three subjects exited the vehicle and began shooting”, it added. The trio then got back in the car and fled the scene.

When authorities arrived, they found two people dead, according to the statement. At least 20 people were hospitalised, with at least one in critical condition.

No arrests were immediately announced.

“This type of gun violence has to stop. Every weekend it’s the same thing,” Ramirez said during an early morning news conference.

Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher, reporting from Miami, said according to police reports people began “shooting indiscriminately into the crowd”.

“The chief of police says he thinks this was a targeted attack,” Gallacher said. “All of this of course coming at the back of a huge spike in gun violence in this country. This is a serious shooting … there are many questions that remain.”.

The incident is the latest of several recent mass shootings in various parts of the country. There were at least 200 mass shootings in the country in the first 132 days of this year, a report by the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit research group, said.

President Joe Biden last month branded US gun violence an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment.”

The Florida shooting comes days after eight people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a train yard in San Jose.

Over four weeks in March and April, the US also saw three such shootings that involved mass casualties: On March 16, eight were killed, including six women of Asian descent, at Atlanta-area spas; less than a week later, 10 died at a supermarket shooting in Colorado and a few weeks after that, eight were killed at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.

The Florida mass shooting is one of a number that have taken place in the past few weeks in the United States [Joe Raedle/AFP]
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies