Bullets, blood and death. A rash of shootings have been stealing lives and a sense of security in South Florida.
Ambush-style targeted attacks, many of them drive-by shootings, involving multiple gunmen caring nothing about innocent lives in their way.
With recent shootings in Kendall, Northwest Miami-Dade, Midtown and Wynwood, no area is off-limits, and that’s because today’s retaliation has nothing to do with turf.
“It’s about disrespect,” said Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo. “It’s about trying to get a street name for yourself. It’s about trying to get that reputation in the streets about being a tough guy.”
And Miami’s police chief says it’s all fueled by what’s posted online.
“They go on social media, they call each other out on social media,” Acevedo said. “There have been instances where we could predict what’s going to happen and who’s going to be targeted by looking at what they are seeing and posting on social media.”
Miami-Dade County is seeing the same trend.
“What’s really the engine is what they are saying in their rap songs, or what they are posting on videos that are trigger words that create a retaliation,” said Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez.
“It’s despicable that it’s because of whatever reason you have or issue you have with these people. Look at what you’re causing to this community,” said Miami-Dade Police Maj. Jorge Aguiar.
“We know about all groups, but it’s hard to predict what the groups are going to do,” Ramirez said. “That’s why we need people to come forward and let us know.”
In response to the recent rash of shootings, Miami-Dade Police launched a county-wide effort focused on gun violence: Operation Summer Heat.
A video posted to Twitter Tuesday showed the weapons they confiscated since the campaign started.
But there are still plenty of guns in the wrong hands, and the killings keep coming.
“It’s madness. We are at a war here,” said an anonymous neighbor.
The latest shooting happened early Tuesday morning in Brownsville.
“All I heard was ‘Dun! Dun! Dun! Dun! Dun! Bam! Bam! Bam!’” a neighbor said, “rapid shooting.”
The shooting left two more people killed in South Florida.
“Another shooting in Miami. Another killing is all we can sit here and say. What is going on?” the man said.
Miami’s police chief said the people doing the shooting aren’t afraid to die. They are afraid of jail, however. He said until we start keeping repeat offenders in jail, this will continue to be a very tough battle not just here but across the country.