‘We all have to band together’: MDPD director, local leaders react to Kendall shooting

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Hours after, police said, three people lost their lives in a shooting and crash following a graduation party in Kendall, local leaders weighed in on the tragedy, saying more needs to be done to combat gun violence in South Florida.

Saturday’s drive-by shooting, which also sent six people to the hospital, comes less than a week after, police said, 23 people were shot outside of a banquet hall in Northwest Miami-Dade that was hosting a concert. Three of the victims died.

The string of deadly shootings have become part a tragic trend in South Florida in recent days.

“We all have to band together. This violence has to stop,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez III.

The shooting in Kendall happened just a few days into Operation Summer Heat, the county’s latest effort to help prevent acts of gun violence.

“This is a setback, without a doubt. It’s a terrible tragedy for the community, but that shows you the importance of why we have to have Operation Summer Heat,” said Ramirez.

The 12-week initiative unifies law enforcement within Miami-Dade County to curb the recent rise in violent crimes.

With this latest act of violence, following the banquet hall mass shooting and multiple other shootings in Wynwood, Miami Beach and North Miami, Ramirez said enough is enough.

“This is extremely frustrating. Every weekend, it’s the same thing. It goes countywide,” he said. “We had one in the north end last weekend. Here we are in the south end of the county, so that’s we all have to be all hands on deck, because it’s not just specific to one area.”

Other leaders took to social media to address Saturday’s shooting.

In a tweet, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava wrote, “Protecting the safety and well-being of all Miami-Dade families and swiftly bringing those responsible to justice is our most urgent priority.”

Miami-Dade Commissioner Raquel Regalado, who represents the area where the shooting in Kendall took place, tweeted out a statement that reads in part, “This incident is proof that gun violence knows no boundaries in our Miami-Dade community.”

MDPD Chief Art Acevedo wrote, “Our deepest condolences go to the families impacted by this latest cowardly act. Please lift all impacted in prayer.”

As of Sunday evening, the conditions of the surviving victims in Saturday’s shooting have not been released.

If you have any information on the shooting in Kendall, or any other recent shootings, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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