Shots disrupt MLK Day celebration
Two people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting of eight people on Martin Luther King Day in a county park that bears the name of the civil rights icon, Miami-Dade’s police chief announced Tuesday.
Police identified the suspects as Gerrell Brownlee, 18 and Robert Britt, 17. Brownlee is expected to be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, attempted second-degree murder and carrying a concealed firearm
Britt will be charged, according to police, with attempted second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a minor. The two were picked up at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after police identified them and secured arrest warrants.
Brownlee was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility. Britt, a minor, is being taken to Miami-Dade’s Juvenile Assessment Center.
The arrest and charges were announced by Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez at the start of the Tuesday’s County Commission meeting. He declined to give details.
Community leaders saw the daylight shooting as particularly brazen and troubling, since the gunfire erupted at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park just hours after a parade honoring the civil rights leader on the national holiday devoted to him. The park address is 6000 NW 32nd Ct.
King “sacrificed his life for all of us,” Perez said while making his announcement before the commission. He took the rare step of spinning the microphone around 180 degrees, turning his back to commissioners on the dais and facing the audience, and television cameras, directly.
Afterward, he told a reporter: “This was everything we don’t stand for. We should have been celebrating the life of Martin Luther King. It was appalling that this took place in the park named after him. It was a shameful act.”
Sources close to the investigation said the suspects were identified through witnesses at the park and from gang detectives making the rounds and talking to sources. Police located the suspects Tuesday morning, the sources said.