Shooting in Miami leaves 2 dead, 7 injured

January 24, 2009 4:46:47 AM PST
Two people were killed and seven injured during a shooting Friday night in a residential area in northwest Miami, authorities said. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

At least one of the wounded was in critical condition at a hospital, police spokeswoman Kenia Alfonso said. Authorities didn't have anyone in custody and didn't know how many people were involved or what prompted the shooting outside a store in Liberty City.

"We have someone out there that is armed, it is a dangerous situation," Alfonso said.

When paramedics arrived, many of those who had been shot were lying in the street. Lt. Ignatius Carroll with Miami Fire Rescue said the scene was chaotic.

Six people were taken to trauma units and another person went to a hospital with less severe injuries, Carroll said. "Anytime anybody goes to the trauma center, it's a serious injury," he said.

Dozens of police cruisers swarmed the area and blocked off streets after the shooting.

Authorities didn't immediately release the identities of any of the shooting victims, but did say none were children.

Liberty City's name comes from a housing project built in the 1930s for poor African-Americans and is known around Florida for its crime and grinding poverty. The median household income hovers around $18,000 a year, some $30,000 less than the U.S. average. The city is also known for riots.

In 1979, a black insurance agent was beaten to death by white and Hispanic police officers. An all-white jury acquitted them and a three-day riot left 18 dead, countless injured and 850 arrested. Many of the neighborhood's businesses were destroyed, then rebuilt.

Then in 1989, police killed another black motorist, and rioters spewed into the streets just days before the Super Bowl was held in Miami.

The area has never fully recovered. Boarded-up buildings, drug dealers and, recently, foreclosures, have mushroomed. Racial tension among blacks, whites, Hispanics and even newer black Caribbean arrivals have simmered for years.

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