• Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

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Site of Miami mass shooting declared an unsafe structure by county officials

Miami-Dade County officials declared the El Mula Banquet Hall, the site of a recent mass shooting that left three people dead and 20 others injured, as an unsafe structure following a building inspection.

Inspectors found evidence of electrical work that was done without appropriate permits as well as violations of the facility’s certificate of use to operate as a banquet hall. They also reported that plumbing materials and a partition wall had been installed without permits.

Tere Florin, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, said the building’s power was cut off Friday as a result of the violations and will remain shut off until further notice, NBC Miami reported.

Officials shut off electricity at the banquet hall one day after a third person died as a result of her injuries following Sunday’s shooting. Shaniqua Peterson, 32, had been in a coma with a bullet lodged in her brain before she passed away Thursday. She is survived by her 12-year-old son, according to her family.

Two men, Desmond Owens and Clayton Dillard III, both 26, were killed during the shooting Sunday.

Police collect evidence from the parking lot in front of a banquet hall where three gunmen killed two people and injured 20 overnight near Hialeah, Fla., on May 30, 2021.Chandan Khanna / AFP – Getty Images

Florin told the Miami Herald that agency officials “don’t believe there’s any relationship between the shooting itself and the work that we’re doing” as a result of the building violations. However, the inspection was prompted by the shooting after Miami-Dade police asked county code compliance officials to inspect the site.

On Sunday morning, three people got out of an SUV and “began shooting indiscriminately into the crowd” outside a “scheduled event” taking place at the establishment located on 186th Street, in the Hialeah area west of Miami Gardens.

Security video released by authorities Monday shows three people, who appear to be carrying guns, getting out of a white SUV and walking out of the frame. The people can be seen running back to the vehicle shortly afterward before driving away.

“They took a mother from her son. They took a daughter from her parents. They took a sister from her siblings. They took a niece from her aunts and uncles,” Peterson’s family said in a statement to NBC Miami. “Words can’t express the deep pain my family and I are feeling. If you know something, say something!”

Authorities are offering a $30,000 reward for information leading to the shooters’ arrests, with an additional $100,000 for their convictions. The $100,000 was donated by businessman and TV personality Marcus Lemonis, who has a reality show on CNBC.

Sunday’s shooting at El Mula Banquet Hall was one of multiple incidents during a deadly Memorial Day weekend in South Florida. One person died after seven people were shot last Friday night, NBC Miami reported.

A homeowner shot a 10-year-old whose father had driven him to participate in a drive-by shooting with a paintball gun on Sunday, Opa-locka police said. The homeowner confused the paintball for real gunfire, telling police he thought his family was being attacked. He fired one shot, which struck the child.

And on Monday evening, a shooting that erupted outside a Miami Beach restaurant left two people injured. Wisdom Awute, 21, and Christopher Urena, 29, were arrested shortly after the shooting, Miami Beach police said Tuesday.

Awute, a rapper known as Wisdom, was part of rapper DaBaby’s entourage, according to an arrest report. DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, was interviewed and released by police and was not charged, according to police and his attorney.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has launched “new efforts to step up enforcement and protection,” she said in a statement Friday.

Some of these efforts include the deployment of joint police and code enforcement special units “to expand monitoring and enforcement of potential illegal activity in commercial locations that foster environments of lawlessness and violence.”