South Florida residents were surprised to learn that two people were injured in a shooting that took place at the Bal Harbour Shops on Tuesday evening. Many consider the area to be very safe, and one police officer commented that there have only been two other shootings in the past nine years. However, the shooting does illustrate that without proper security, criminal activity can occur anywhere causing an individual to become a victim of an attack.
Prior to the shooting, witnesses said that five individuals were in the middle of a dispute near the elevators outside of the Carpaccio restaurant. Around 6:15 p.m., one of the men involved in the fight pulled out a gun and shot another man who was part of the dispute. The man was shot in the leg, but the same the bullet struck a woman who was dining at the Bal Harbour restaurant. The women received a gunshot wound to the foot. After the incident, the shooter fled the scene of the crime.
Several witnesses rushed to the wounded victims and Bal Harbour Police and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units arrived shortly after the shooting. The male victim had to be airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The female victim was taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for her injuries.
Police are still looking for the gunman, but they believe that the gunman and male victim knew each other. Residents are disturbed by shooting, especially since they believe the area is one of the safest places. “It’s something we never expect to see,” said a Bal Harbour resident. The woman continued, “We hear it everywhere else but not here.” Another resident commented that in a poor economy, crime is bound to increase.
Although many factors contribute to crime rates, owners of public properties such as restaurants, malls, hotels and offices are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to help prevent individuals from becoming victims of crimes. Some precautions building owners and managers can take include: using surveillance equipment and posting signs that the equipment is being used, providing adequate lighting, hiring security guards to patrol the area and maintaining safe entrances. Without providing proper security, property owners put the lives of their patrons at risk and could be held liable for injuries sustained in a violent crime.
Source:WSVN-TV: “Gunman opens fire outside ritzy restaurant,” 23 Mar. 2011