Investigators Say Social Media Playing Major Role In Banquet Hall Mass Shooting Investigation

CBS4's Jim DeFede shares his insight.

Video Transcript

- Joining us now is CBS Sports Jim DeFede. And Jim, it was an especially violent weekend here in South Florida. This is simply mind-boggling. Where do we know-- what do we know about where this investigation stands right now?

JIM DEFEDE: So I think it's really important to analyze some of what we heard in that press conference and one of those sound bites that Ted Scouten played just a moment ago when he talked about two groups having a feud with each other. Now, one of the things that I've learned in my discussions with investigators is that they're reluctant to refer to it as gangs, because they're not gangs in the traditional sense that we typically think of them. If you think about gangs and the idea of having a territory that they operate drug sales in and when one gang tries to fight with another over territory, that's what traditionally we think about.

Instead, Miami-Dade is very different. What you have in Miami-Dade is you have basically neighborhoods, and kids and neighborhoods, or young adults in neighborhoods that come together to form alliances. And those groups then start feuding with others often on social media. Social media is believed to play a major role in this investigation. They are scouring the Instagram pages, social media sites of those who were involved in terms of some of the victims to see who they were potentially having these feuds with.

This is the way we are at now as a society. What you have is you have these escalating fights on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, wherever it may be, that then escalate into violence. That's the state of things that we're seeing more and more in Dade County.

- And Jim, we heard it mentioned at the news conference this morning the concerns of more violence. Is this the start of a bloody summer here in South Florida?

JIM DEFEDE: Well, not just here in South Florida, but across the country. You know, this past weekend, more than 70 individuals were shot in the United States. There were, I believe, it was about a dozen people killed in numerous mass shootings across the country. We are seeing an uptick in violence in many states, the states that you don't necessarily even associate with violence, or portions of states, upstate New York, for instance. We're not talking about New York City, we're talking about upstate New York has seen an increase in this. You're talking about some other communities are seeing it as well.

So the fear is that as we head into the summer, as people are getting out and about post COVID, that you're going to see more of this interaction that could be deadly. I mean, just think about it for a second. You know, in the span of about three or four days, you had that crazy video of the individual hanging out from a car window outside of a Casino, firing over the course of several blocks. You had the shooting in Wynwood, and now you have this mass shooting here in Northwest state. And of course, there was also a shooting in Aventura.

So the fear is that this is going to ramp up. I should say that police officials say that overall, homicides are actually down in Dade County, but that's little comfort to those who are perished in shootings that we've seen more recently.

- It certainly is. Now that they have that stolen car, hopefully, they'll get more information and make some arrests. Jim, thank you very much for joining us right now.