Clearwater Beach Shooting Shocks Tourists

    May 26, 2014
    Ellisha Rader Mannering
    Comments are off for this post.

In the midst of the cookouts and pool parties that were taking place during Memorial Day weekend, there were also bouts of violence. On Monday evening, several shootings occurred in Clearwater Beach, Florida leading to several injuries and arrests.

Two people were shot and at least eight were taken into custody when the shootings broke out near the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. The area was full of people who ran for cover when they heard the gunshots.

Police responded to the scene quickly and determined that the shootings were not random and occurred after a fight broke out between two groups of people. The first shooting occurred in the hotel’s parking garage and a second happened a few blocks away from the hotel. One person was shot in the hand and left the scene while another was transported to a nearby Tampa Bay hospital for treatment.

The hotel was placed on lockdown while police cleared the scene and a SWAT team arrived at around 9:45 p.m. Access to the beach was also closed during the investigation.

Joelle Castelli, a Clearwater spokeswoman, said that police handled the situation appropriately and in a timely manner.

Clearwater Beach is a popular tourist destination and the Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest times of year. Castelli insisted that the shootings were isolated incidents and that the beach area is safe for tourists and well-monitored by police.

“We have a lot of police presence on the beach, especially on the holiday weekend,” she said. “Safety is our No. 1 priority. I’d bring my family here tomorrow.”

Another popular tourist destination, Myrtle Beach, was also the location of two shootings over the weekend. Three people were killed at an oceanfront hotel and one other was injured.

Have these tourist destination shootings made you think twice about your vacation plans or do you think things like this are bound to happen in crowded areas?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • SisterT_39

    I have been right there a few times while on vacation (I am from Europe). So the strange feeling I always had in the USA with all the gun presence now is verified every single day …

    • Enough Already

      Many of us own guns to protect ourselves from people like this. Mental health and crime problems are the cause of these events, not guns. Our country is rich with diversity – and some of these diverse people don’t share your European values.

  • Tony Ventana

    Drug dealing with attempts to collect drug debts in a posh neighborhood of dope heads might involve gun play.

  • Henry

    Somebody was hogging the crack pipe.

  • marsha benjamin

    Hi…B.MAC Im an African American woman and I ask myself these questions EVERYDAY. My whole race doesn’t act like wild animals but, some undisciplined, poorly raised individuals do. I apologize for these embarrassing, troublesome groups of my race and wish I could wipe them out myself so we can be a stronger, more productive and respected part of society. Until we come up with a solution, it seems like this epidemc is spreading like gangrene. So many of our black men feel like they don’t have anything to live for, have NO drive, have anger issues, they aren’t surrounded by positive, productive people and therefore it manifests itself into what we have now. I’m fostering kids and raising a son of my own whom will be an admired part of society one day. I am trying to do what’s in MY power and hopefully there will be more black woman that will do the same because our men have failed us miserably and we can’t depend on them to bring about a positive change.

    • marsha benjamin

      That’s nice of you and his wife to help him but, he needs to learn how to help himself and GROW UP! Not many black woman are going to put up with this type of nonsense. His wife may have self-esteem issues and is willing to deal with that, just to have a male around(not man). She’s probably hoping one day he will wake up and get it (learn the real values of life and provide for your family, along with encouraging others along the way.) That’s wishful thinking though. Something has gone terribly wrong with my race and we should have accomplished more than we have by now and have a higher standing in society. This is a sad ordeal that is seen too often and I wish we would seek out more psychological help/coaching just to deal with life’s challenges, stigmas and how to build character when we aren’t taught responsibility at home. Thanks for your feedbackJ