Thursday, October 2, 2014

Not the Spot to be.......

It sounded like a war zone at about 1 am on September 28 2014 at "The Spot" in Miami FL and by the time that the police had arrived, 15 people had been injured.  The Spot, located at 6410 NW Seventh Ave, is advertised as a Caribbean restaurant, lounge and bar and had recently been holding a teen night on Saturday nights.  The restaurant was filled with young people who were dancing to the music of DJ Bay Bay, enjoying drinks and just hanging out when the gunfire started.

Witnesses state that they started running for cover during what seemed to be two groups firing on each other.  Some of the wounded managed to get themselves to the hospital while others were sent from the scene after the police arrived there.  What has shocked many is the ages of the victims...... The youngest was 11 years old and the oldest was 25 years old.  One victim, a 15 year old boy is still in critical condition.

The police state that they believe the fight broke out on the dance floor with one person emptying their gun inside of the building.  The fight continued outside with gunfire being exchanged with another person that was inside of a vehicle that left the scene.  They added that the two men fired at least three dozen shots during the gunfight and it was contained to just the two shooters.

Many of the estimated 100 young people there were outside by the time police arrived and some could be seen helping their friends who had been injured.  The fire rescue and paramedics stated that most of the wounds were not life threatening though one victim had been found not breathing at the scene.  They added that besides the 15 who had been shot, one additional victim was struck by a car outside the building.

The Spot has had a liqueur license since April 2014 but it was only to serve beer and wine.  It was also licensed to seat 50 people for food service.  The police have not stated if alcohol was being served to minors during the event but they did find evidence of  daiquiris mixer and a blender on a table after the shooting as well as liqueur behind the bar.

Some parents have spoken out and stated that they were happy that the establishment was offering events for their children to attend.  They felt that it gave them a safe place to socialize on a Saturday night.  Others have questioned what children that young were doing out that late or in an establishment that served alcohol as late as 3 am.  It has been explained that the 11 year old that was injured was the daughter of the owner.  One fifteen year old that was injured was a friend of the owner's daughter.

On September 30, Tiffany Johnson, the owner of The Spot was issued a series of code violations in connection with the investigation of the shooting.  She was given citations for distributing alcohol while only having a beer and wine license, buying beer at a supermarket that was not an official distributor, not having a permit for a jukebox or for the pool table.  They also found issues with the roof of the building and are recommending that the certificate of use permit be removed.  The restaurant has been open for many years but it catered to an older crowd when it was known as The Caribbean Spot, serving food to regulars and hosting pool tournaments.  It's use recently has been as a nightclub which is a different permit than the restaurant one that it currently has.  The task force has reported that they will continue to inspect the establishment for other violations because they have called attention to themselves now.

The police are still trying to determine exactly what sparked the shooting and are trying to find those involved.

Update Oct 10 2014:

The police have arrested two young men and charged them with the shootings at The Spot and they report that they are looking for the driver of the two that evening.  Will Campbell, 17, was charged on Oct 6 2014 with one count of attempted murder and 14 counts of aggravated battery.  He has been charged as a juvenile but the charges could be upgraded soon.  Jamiroquai Young, 16, was arrested on Oct 7 2014 and charged with one count of accessory after the fact of attempted murder and 14 counts of accessory after the fact of aggravated battery.


Police have stated that Campbell was the shooter and Young was the one who pointed out Travon Simmons, 15, while they were in the club.  Simmons was critically hurt by a gunshot and Campbell injured the others as he kept firing when the two ran from the club.  The shooting was a result of an earlier fight that took place at Norwood High School.

Campbell's mother begged the judge for her son to be released with electronic monitoring but the judge chose to listen to the prosecutors and keep him in a locked facility.  Campbell is described as a clean cut young man who has bounced through several high schools after getting into trouble on the campuses.  His mother stated that he is a good student who has never missed a day of school and is doing well at Miami Jackson Senior High.  Young had been removed from class at Norwood High when it was learned that he would be arrested.  He was later transported to the Miami PD and turned over to the homicide detectives.  The police added that they have not recovered the two guns that were used in the shooting yet and they are still investigating the shootings.

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