Miami Beach officials imposed a curfew Sunday night during spring break after two fatal shootings and rowdy, chaotic crowds that police have had difficulty controlling. The city said the curfew ran from 11:59 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday, with an additional curfew likely Thursday through next Monday, March 27. The curfew mainly affects South Beach, the most popular party location for spring breakers, the Associated Press reports.
The city said the two separate shootings Friday night and early Sunday that left two people dead and “excessively large and unruly crowds” led to the decision. The city commission plans a meeting Monday to discuss potential further restrictions.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a video message posted Sunday that the crowds and presence of numerous firearms has “created a peril that cannot go unchecked” despite massive police presence and many city-sponsored activities meant to keep people busy. “We don’t ask for spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, it’s too much disorder and it’s too difficult to police,” Gelber said. The latest shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. Sunday. A man was shot and died later at a hospital, and officers chased down a suspect on foot. In the Friday night shooting, one man was killed and another seriously injured, sending crowds scrambling in fear from restaurants and clubs into the streets as gunshots rang out. Police detained one person at the scene and found four firearms. Under the curfew, people must leave businesses before midnight. The city said restaurants can stay open only for delivery and the curfew won’t apply to residents, people going to and from work, emergency services and hotel guests.