Shootout in Florida Leaves Multiple Wounded

( – A day of celebration turned to violence as a gunman opened fire on a beach boardwalk in Hollywood, Florida, on Memorial Day.

The shooter or shooters hit nine people, of whom four were children. All the victims were taken to either Memorial Regional Hospital or Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, both of which report that they are all in stable condition. So far, there have been no reported deaths.

By the afternoon of the next day, three of the victims had been treated and released, while the remaining six were still in the hospital in stable condition.

Hollywood mayor Josh Levy praised “good samaritans,” paramedics, and emergency workers who responded to the shooting, which took place at about 6:45 pm. Police officers gave first aid to the victims before they were taken to the hospital.

Police spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi said the shooting appeared to be an escalation of a dispute between two groups. It is not clear whether authorities believe this is gang-related violence.

Local Police Chief Chris O’Brien said Memorial Day always attracts thousands to the boardwalk, and that it was “unfortunate we have law-abiding citizens” who come for the beach and get caught in criminal cross-fire.

A witness told the associated press that several young men were brawling in front of the shops that line the boardwalk and that one pulled out a gun. Surveillance footage for the scene shows people running for cover behind various stores and restaurants.

So far, police have arrested two suspects and are on the hunt for a third.

Hollywood police said they would beef up the number of officers on the boardwalk while they complete their investigation. They have also set up a space for family members of the victims to meet with each other.

Hollywood Beach has long been a popular tourist destination for people seeking the boardwalk and beach experience; holidays such as Memorial Day always draw larger crowds.

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