A deadly shooting on Ocean Drive rattled South Beach on Friday night, changing the mood of what had been a relatively peaceful spring break this year. Miami Beach Police said it was an isolated incident and city officials opted not to impose a curfew as they have done in previous years.
The plan was to stick to their spring break policing and programming approaches on Ocean Drive, including a Carnaval Miami event that is keeping the strip of hotels and bars closed to cars this weekend.
On Saturday, spring breakers seemed determined to keep the party going as huge crowds were once again gathered on the sand and Ocean Drive.
Ronny, a 22-year-old from Pittsburgh, said she was a few feet away when the shots rang out Friday. She said she was worried her friend could have been hit.
“No one is trying to be dodging bullets on vacation,” she said. “Y’all are down here trying to recreate ‘Scarface.’”
She was back at Seventh Street and Ocean Drive on Saturday evening, near where the shooting happened.
“I’m always having fun regardless, but y’all have to chill with that shooting stuff,” she said.
A crowd of more than 100 people was gathered on the beach nearby. Some spring breakers held boom boxes above their heads, playing an assortment of Afro Beats, Billboard hits and Reggaeton.
Beer and liquor bottles were scattered on the sand as people twerked and danced.
Peter Sint, a 23-year-old from Miami-Dade, said he came to the beach with friends and was stunned by the size of the crowds.
“I haven’t come to South Beach in a while,” he said. “We’re going to play it by ear and see how drunk [the crowd gets].”
Sint said he feared the possibility of another violent incident.
“There’s a lot of people here, and I’m just thinking something’s about to happen at some point,” he said.
Later in the night, around 3:30 a.m., there was another shooting on a crowded Ocean Drive sidewalk near 11th Street that left one man dead. On Sunday, Miami Beach officials declared a state of emergency and announced a midnight curfew in South Beach.
Here is what the scene in South Beach looked like Saturday night before the Sunday morning shooting:
This story has been updated to include information about the shooting on Sunday morning and the city’s midnight curfew in South Beach.