The neighborhood around Tony’s Market in Fort Lauderdale was quiet Tuesday, a day after a hail of gunfire that left two children hospitalized.
Although a crowd of people had fled the chaos caused by multiple shooters just two nights earlier, no one was eager to share much of what they witnessed. At least not publicly.
Even police disclosed little information — a 16-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl continued to recover from gunshot wounds and are expected to survive.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Patrick Lynn said Tuesday that detectives are trying to find the shooters. He did say whether any suspects have been identified.
Mayor Dean Trantalis urged witnesses to come forward with what they know to help police find out why the shooting started and who was responsible.
“It’s scary,” he said of gun violence in the city. “The reality is, the police can’t be everywhere. They can’t be on every street corner.”
At Tony’s Marketplace on Tuesday afternoon, several people in front of the shop said they’d heard about the shooting but declined to speak about what they’d seen. One man said he was near the store when the shooting happened and saw a crowd of people scatter toward the entrance to dodge bullets. He declined to give his name or any details that were not already well known.
“It was just hella bullets,” he said. “A lot of bullets.”
A cashier at the store said the shooting was “not shocking” to him because the neighborhood has struggled with crime for years.
Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Robert McKinzie complained that the city is able to dispatch its police to control Spring Break crowds at the beach but not to protect at-risk neighborhoods like the one where the shooting took place.
“We’ve been struggling with redevelopment in my area and trying to change the image,” he said. “We are asking and pleading for help from our police department.”
The police chief said the shooting makes it clear there is “a problem that needs to be addressed at a number of different levels. The goal is to find a long-term solution.”
Police are still asking anyone with information about the shooting or shooters to call Broward County Crimes Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477), or Detective Jameson Jones at 954-828-5771.