A mass shooting at a nightclub is big news. But when children as young as 11 are present and wounded, the story becomes more troubling. A post on Facebook reflected what many are thinking:
Fifteen people were shot and wounded, one critically, at "The Spot" nightclub, located four miles north of downtown Miami.
No one had been arrested. Interviews are being conducted and police are asking for the public’s help in getting information.
Victims ranged in age from 11 to 25 and suffered mostly non-life-threatening injuries. However, a 15-year-old boy remains hospitalized critical condition. Reports say he was apparently shot multiple times. Some of those hit by gunfire were 5 girls ranging in age from 11 to 17.
A Miami law enforcement official said, "What was very surprising to the responders was that these were kids that were out at 1 o'clock in the morning in a club and this type of violence took place where a bunch of kids were gathering. It's very disturbing to see that."
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted:
Investigators were interviewing the owner to determine what type of club The Spot is, if it's licensed and why underage children were there, said police spokeswoman Frederica Burden, who noted that she had never heard of the venue despite having worked in the neighborhood for years.
The club appears to have opened recently in a strip mall and caters to teens, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.
"Was it a private party? Was it open to the public? That's what we're trying to figure out," she said.
In addition to finding the shooter or shooters, other important questions must be answered. Who are the parents of these kids out at 1 am? Is it time for Child Protective Services to get involved?