The party in the new club went into the wee hours Sunday morning. Strawberry daiquiris flowed. Music from DJ Bay Bay pulsed.
Then came the gunfire.
Witnesses said they heard dozens of rounds, maybe 100, rip through a storefront Miami nightclub called The Spot, wedged between a furniture store and a smoke shop.
When the bullets stopped, 15 people, some of them preteens and teens, were bloodied, dazed and wounded.
Miami police are investigating a shooting at the club early Sunday that sent more than a dozen people to the hospital.
One person, a teenage boy, remains in serious condition. Most of the other injuries are not life-threatening.
Dressed in dark blue hospital scrubs and using crutches, a 20-year-old man hobbled out of Jackson Memorial Hospital Sunday afternoon to wait for his ride.
"I've been through a lot," said the young man, who wouldn't give his name. He was shot in the right leg.
He said he was at a "party" at The Spot early Sunday listening to music when he heard "pop, pop, pop."
"I tried to run out of the way, but I got hit," he said. "I don't know what happened.
Police say they, too, don’t know yet what set off the violence, but at least one witness says it appears that two groups of people were shooting at each other.
Owners or managers of the The Spot did not answer the door Sunday to shed light on the party or the shooting.
Perhaps the most sobering part of this latest Miami club carnage is the tender ages of some of the victims. The youngest is 11.
“This is crazy — people shooting people up for no reason,” said area resident Michelle Williams, driving by the club at Northwest 64th Street at Seventh Avenue late Sunday morning as investigators still combed the place.
Williams said The Spot opened about three weeks ago — and that she's just happy her teenage son was home during the shooting.
The 15 people wounded range in age from 11 to 25, according to Miami police. No suspects were in custody on Sunday.
When police and paramedics arrived sometime before 2 a.m., they found “chaos,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.
Carroll said fire-rescue took seven victims to Jackson Memorial Hospital, some with hip, leg and other non-life threatening injuries. One victim was not breathing, he said.
Other victims went to the hospital on their own, according to police.
“There were a lot of people outside,” Carroll said. “Some were helping their friends who had been shot.”
Frederica Burden, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, said investigators are trying to determine who was inside the nightclub, how many shooters there were and what prompted the firing.
“This has baffled everybody,” she said. “We are just trying to figure out what’s going on.”
To one 28-year-old woman who was across the street when the shooting started, it seemed as if the shooters were trading fire, with 100 or so clubgoers caught in the middle. The front door to the club was open at the time and the woman said she could see the flashes of gunfire inside.
"Shots were flying everywhere," said the woman, who declined to give her name.
If the shootings are gang-related, the scene evoked memories of a club massacre 22 years ago at a Miami-Dade restaurant called Taste of the Islands, where more than 100 were inside, 18 were wounded and four died.
In June 2007, four armed men covering their faces with white bandanas entered the Polish American Club in Miami, and began firing at a group of young men and women celebrating their graduation. Two people were killed and five others were injured. The victims were between 15 and 20. Then in July 2009, someone opened fire at a birthday party at an Overtown housing project where more than 200 people he gathered. Two people died and 12 others were hurt.
Other, more recent club shootings in the Miami area also have caused chaos and bloodshed.
In December, an altercation at an Allapattah nightclub called El Romance led to the shooting death of a man. And in June, a personal chef was shot dead at Mansion, a club in South Beach, where a fight preceded the bullets and made a large crowd scramble for the exits.
Like in some of those cases, police have had a difficult time pinning down details at The Spot.
Burden said investigators are talking with witnesses and trying to sort out what happened.
“People were scrambling to get out and we have a lot of victims,” she said. “There are a lot of people to talk to.”
Police weren't sure of the caliber of the weapon or if there was more than one shooter. They were trying to figure out why there was such a mix of ages at The Spot. The one person in critical condition was shot several times. One officer said he suspected the shooting was over some ongoing feud, but he couldn't be more specific.
It was a bloody night in Miami, according to police. There were three other shootings in a few hour stretch, though none were fatal.
A man who was shot outside a supermarket a few blocks from The Spot was released Sunday afternoon with bandages on his leg and stomach covering wound.
"They say it was an AK-47," Vernon Shaftell, 33, said.
Shaftell said he wasn't sure if it was a drive-by or someone on foot.
"There was a lot of shooting," he said
The Spot appears to be a pop-up strip-mall club even some officers were not aware of catering to teens.
As police investigated Sunday morning, a party table in front of the club sat littered with an empty daiquiri mix bottle and disassembled blender, left in the chaos of the shooting.
An area resident, who declined to give her name, said Sunday she encountered a mean crowd the couple times she'd visited the club.
"There are no nice people there," she said, including the management.
Another neighbor, Donald Wright, said the managers shouldn't be blamed. Wright, 45, said the parents of the teens and pre-teens at the club during the shooting are to blame for letting their kids out that late.
"The owner's just trying to run a business," he said. "The kids should've been home."
Bridget Davis, who identified herself as the aunt of a 15-year-old, who was shot several times, said in a phone interview that she was outraged that this type of shooting could happen in a club.
"They're supposed to check everybody," she said. "The club needs to be shut down."
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami homicide at 305-603-6350 or CrimeStoppers at 305-471-TIPS.