Several suspects were wanted after a shooting at a Walmart store in Florida on Wednesday afternoon, which left one person dead and another wounded, and sparked a panic that left several people injured as they ran from gunfire, officials said.
Miami-Dade police confirmed that two men were shot and killed at a Walmart store at 33501 S. Dixie Highway shortly before 3:00 p.m. A 23-year-old man later identified as Nathaniel Baez died from his injuries while another man was expected to survive, police said.
Mobile phone video shows people trying to help one victim, who was lying on the store floor moments after the shooting.
Witnesses said they heard up to six shots before people inside the store ran.
“I heard six shots, bang-pow-pow, and then everyone fled,” said one man who was in the store.
“It was just a crazy house. Everyone just started running out of all the exits. Everyone just fled,” buyer Daniel Singleton said.
Police said the incident began with an altercation between two groups of three on each side. During the scuffle, one man pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Baez, who was involved in the altercation, was shot dead and later died, police said. The second person injured in the shooting was an innocent bystander who was hit by a stray bullet, police said.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said the two young children were in the store and were among several customers and workers who were near the scene of the shooting.
“This store was opened, it happened at the front of the store where there are a lot of customers,” Zabaleta said. “Unfortunately, a client not involved in this incident was injured, it could have been much more tragic.”
According to Zabalet, the police arrived and took into custody one of the six participants in the brawl. According to him, four more participants fled the scene.
Footage from the scene showed a massive police presence, with several officers surrounding the store with weapons at the ready. The footage also shows a handcuffed man being put into the back seat of a Florida police car.
Several fire and rescue crews and Miami-Dade vehicles were also seen outside the store. Zabaleta said five people who received minor cuts and scrapes while fleeing the gunfire received medical treatment outside the store and were released.
The woman, who sustained a head injury while escaping, also went to a local hospital for medical attention, Zabalet said.
“It could have been much more tragic because there were children who needed to be evacuated, young teenagers who could be hit, and we could be here in sorrow as a community,” Zabaleta said.
Officials did not identify the suspect, who was taken into custody, or say what charges could be brought against him.
Zabaleta said police were still investigating, reviewing security footage and looking for the other four suspects involved in the altercation and shooting, but added that police needed the public’s help to find other suspects.
“It is very important that anyone who has seen something, heard something, no matter how little information you think, let us know,” he said.
“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 currently closed,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will work closely with local law enforcement as they investigate and will forward additional questions to the police.”
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