Mon, Mar 30, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Seven partygoers shot in Florida

NY Times News Service

Spring break turned bloody when seven people in their early 20s were shot with a .40 caliber handgun early on Saturday at a house in Panama City Beach, Florida. The shootings were described on the official Facebook page for Frank McKeithen, the Bay County sheriff.

The Sheriff’s Office responded to multiple emergency calls at 12:55am on Saturday to find the young men and women, several of whom were Alabama A&M University students who had gone to Florida for spring break. The Facebook post described a “chaotic scene,” with victims found in and in front of the house and across the street.

The police apprehended David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Alabama, near the crime scene. He was charged with seven counts of attempted murder and was being held in the Bay County Jail. The police also recovered a .40 caliber handgun, like the one used in the shootings, in a nearby backyard.

All seven victims were being treated at a nearby hospital on Saturday.

Ruth Corley, the public information officer for the Bay County sheriff, said that the shooting took place at a crowded party. She said that Daniels had traveled from Alabama with two men, one of whom had an unrelated gunshot wound. She was not certain of the motive for the shooting and said the two men with Daniels had been questioned and released without being charged.

“It was the sixth gun-related call that they had yesterday alone,” Corley said, “and that is very unusual for us.”

Dan Kucera, 47, owns a home down the street from the townhouse with a private pool where the shootings took place. He said he was falling asleep on Saturday morning when gunshots jerked him awake.

“You just wake up to loud yelling and screaming, commotion, people out of control, sirens, cops everywhere,” Kucera said in a telephone interview. “Chaos is a good word for it.”

Kucera said that he was not sure what had happened, but that he imagined that alcohol was involved. He said the women who were renting the townhouse “were pretty close-lipped” in the morning.

Kucera ordinarily rents his house to revelers for six weeks during the spring break season, but stayed there on Saturday, because a renter had left early. He said that rentals like the townhouse could range from US$2,000 to US$3,000 per week during the season, and that his Panama City Beach enclave was usually calmer than other parts of the club-laden strip.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top