1 dead, 1 injured, 1 taken into custody following Florida Walmart shooting; shoppers describe the chaos in the store

FLORIDA CITY, FLA. (FloridaToday.news) — A man has been killed and another injured in a shooting at a Walmart store in Florida that resulted in police taking one person into custody.

Miami-Dade Police have taken over the investigation into the incident, which took place shortly before 3:00 p.m. Wednesday at a large store located at 33501 S. Dixie Highway.

According to investigators, two people received gunshot wounds as a result of the incident.

According to the Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Department, a third person required medical attention due to a panic attack resulting from the incident.

Investigators said the woman went to the hospital herself to be treated for a head injury she received when she slipped and fell. Paramedics treated five other people at the scene with minor cuts and scrapes.

Witnesses inside the store said the shooting took place near a nail salon.

“When I went, for example, to the exit ahead, I saw a crying family and saw a shot guy lying on the floor,” said witness Johnny Pacheco.

“Everyone was running, so I ran out the side door, man. I know that at least two people were injured,” another man said.

MDPD Detective Alvaro Zabaleta provided more information about the incident at a press conference held on Wednesday evening.

“What we do know is that… there was a quarrel between two groups, three people on each side, and these people quarreled a little among themselves,” he said. “It escalated into a physical altercation when one of them pulled out a firearm and fired it, injuring the two people.”

Zabaleta said the survivor was airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center, where he is said to be in stable condition.

“From what we understand [this patient] was not involved in this quarrel, it so happened that this is a client who seems to have been hit by a stray bullet, ”he said.

Police said another victim was airlifted to Jackson South Trauma Center and died of his injuries. According to them, he was one of the six participants in the quarrel.

On Wednesday evening, the police identified the deceased 23-year-old Nathaniel Baez.

Witnesses inside the store described the chaos that ensued after the shots were fired.

“I just heard gunshots and everyone was coming out,” said witness Venilde Herrera.

“I heard six shots: bang, bang, bang, bang, bang,” Pacheco said.

Florida police units rushed to the store and found two victims with gunshot wounds.

Homestead Police and MDPD units also arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area.

A mobile phone video from the store, posted by True Homestead on social media, shows a woman speaking in Spanish: “They’re gone.”

The footage then shows people screaming in the background. People were seen rushing towards the man lying on the ground in front of the nail salon.

One client, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was in the bathroom when she heard gunshots echo.

“Then, all of a sudden, I heard gunshots, I don’t know how many,” she said.

The customer said her friend was waiting for her outside.

“I dropped the phone and everyone ran,” she said. “I heard people yelling at everyone to get out of the store. The next thing I remember, people were pushing me and I ran out of the store.”

The customer said that in the confusion she broke up with her friend. Now she desperately wants to know if he’s okay, but with her phone broken, she has no way to check on him.

“Now I’m terrified because I don’t know where he is,” she said. “I don’t know if he’s okay, I don’t know if he was shot, I don’t know if he’s alive.”

The customer said she remembers hearing screams, seeing police and being pushed to safety.

“I was kind of rushed and pushed aside. Everyone fled; I was just dragged into it,” she said. “It was like a stampede and everyone just kept running, so I just followed them in a hurry. When I got here, I crossed the road, and I’ve been here ever since.”

It took the police approximately 45 minutes to clear the Walmart. Several witnesses were seen waiting outside the store.

Police said they detained one person, while the others involved in the attack fled.

“The four people involved fled the scene,” Zabaleta said, “and this is where we need the community’s help.”

Walmart released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by what happened at our Florida store and our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victim. The store is closed at this time. We will work closely with local law enforcement as they investigate and will forward additional questions to the police.”

The store remained closed on Wednesday evening. It is unclear when it will reopen.

As investigators pieced it together, buyers said they were unfortunately not surprised that the fight quickly escalated into violence around people who had nothing to do with it.

“This is how things are these days; it’s like that everywhere,” said a client who spoke to 7News.

If you have any information about this shooting, please call Miami-Dade Crime Squad at 305-471-TIPS. Remember that you can always remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

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