Lauderhill sees rise in gun violence for September with 3 deadly shootings in 5 days

Gun violence has been on the rise in Lauderhill for the month of September, starting with a triple shooting at a Labor Day weekend event, followed by three deadly shootings in a five-day span.

There have been no arrests in the four separate shootings. Chief Constance Stanley said in a statement Tuesday that all of the shootings appear to be isolated, targeted incidents.

The most recent shooting happened Monday night shortly before 9:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of Northwest 31st Avenue. Technology that detects gunshots identified the location, and officers found two victims there.

The two men were taken to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where one of them died, Lauderhill Police said in a news release Tuesday. The second victim is expected to recover from his injuries.

On Sunday night, a man who had been shot in his arm and leg called 911 about 11 p.m. and told officers the shooting happened at a nearby address in the 5200 block of North University Drive. At that address, officers found Brandon Spells, 20, dead from multiple gunshot wounds, the police department said.

A third victim, an adult woman, was later identified after arriving at Florida Medical Center with a gunshot wound. She and the man who called 911 were expected to recover.

Romauni Berkett, 19, died after he was shot multiple times Thursday night about 8:30 p.m. He was found lying unresponsive in the road in the 2200 block of Northwest 59th Way. Police have released few details on the shooting, aside from that Berkett was walking in the area at the time.

Three people were injured at an event in the 1400 block of North State Road 7 shortly after midnight on Labor Day. Officers were at the address responding to an unrelated call when a victim called 911 and said he had been shot outside in the back of a business at the address, police said.

Officers found an adult man with a gunshot wound to the back of his head in the parking lot of the address and an adult woman who was shot in her shoulder in the front of the address.

A third victim who was shot in the front of his head arrived at Florida Medical Center. All three were treated at Broward Health Medical Center and were in stable condition, the police department said.

In all cases, Lauderhill Police said they had not identified any suspects.

“During the month of September, our city has witnessed a concerning increase in gun violence,” Stanley said in the news release Tuesday. “I feel compelled to address these distressing events and shed light on our response. To date, we’ve had four separate shooting incidents resulting in nine victims, tragically claiming the lives of three individuals due to these senseless acts of violence.”

Stanley said the department has increased patrols “in areas with a history of violence” and continues its community engagement, use of license-plate reader and gunshot detection technology provided by SoundThinking, formerly known as ShotSpotter, which the department began using in April.

Lauderhill officials held a rally in June, called Walk for Peace, to protest and raise awareness of gun violence in the community and announced the police department’s new use of SoundThinking. Florida Department of Law Enforcement data shows that Lauderhill has seen an increase in violent crimes involving guns in the past 10 years, with nearly 300 firearm-involved crimes in 2020, over twice the number in 2010.

Stanley urged residents to participate in the department’s community events, like the Citizen’s Police Academy, the Police Explorer Program, Coffee with a Cop and Rescue Our Kids (R.O.K.) Boot Camp, which is held in the spring for children and teenagers.

“When violence of this nature occurs, the community must unite and reject such behavior,” Stanley said. “We ask our community members to join forces with us in resolving these cases.”

Authorities ask anyone with information on the shootings to call Lauderhill Police’s Criminal Investigations Unit at 954-497-4700, Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 or the Broward Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 954-764-4357.

Sun Sentinel staff writer Shira Moolten contributed to this report.