(The Hill) — Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber announced a curfew on Sunday after two fatal shootings over the weekend on Ocean Drive amid an influx of spring-breakers and out-of-city visitors.
“As I’ve said many times, we don’t ask for spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, brings too much disorder and it’s simply too difficult to police,” Gelber said in a video message to residents on Sunday.
“While most may come here to enjoy the amenities of Miami Beach, the overwhelming volume of visitors, a few that come with bad intentions in the presence of guns creates a wholly intolerable situation.”
The latest shooting occurred on Sunday morning at about 3:30 a.m., where one man was shot and later died at a hospital, and another was wounded, Miami Beach police said. The police confirmed on Twitter that it was a “targeted and isolated” incident.
Miami Beach police said they responded to another scene where two people were suffering from gunshot wounds on Friday night at about 10:40 p.m. Police said in a statement on Twitter that one of the victims died in the hospital, and the other was left in critical condition.
“Both shootings were between visitors to Miami Beach and did not involve residents,” Gelber said. “In both cases, police were literally seconds away from the incidents and arrests were made within minutes. That said, it is clear that even an unprecedented police presence could not prevent these incidents from occurring.”
Gelber said the curfew was to start at 11:59 p.m. Sunday and last through until 6 a.m. Monday. The city announced in a press release that the city manager will likely impose an additional curfew Thursday through next Monday, March 27.
The press release cited “excessively large and unruly crowds” as the reason for the implementing the curfew.
Miami Beach has long been a popular spring break destination among college students, and officials have previously needed to enact emergency powers to control the large crowds. Gelber said in his video message that the high volume of people has created a “peril that cannot go unchecked,” especially over the last three weeks.
“While our daytime programming has helped with crowd control and daytime incidents and arrests are down from last year, the volume of people in our city, the unruly nature of too many and the presence of guns, has created a peril that cannot go unchecked,” he said.
The curfew requires businesses to close by midnight. Hotels can still remain open, as long as they are only operating with guests staying at their business.
The release states that the curfew will not apply to people traveling back and forth from work or residents of the city going to or from their homes.
The city imposed a midnight curfew during the same period last year after shootings on Ocean Drive.