Worker killed by stray bullet in chaotic shooting near Trump resort, police say

A man sitting in his minivan at a shopping plaza was struck in the head and killed by a stray bullet from a shooting in front of the Trump International Beach Resort Miami Sunday afternoon, police said.

The man, identified as 43-year-old Mohamad Jradi, had just finished his shift at Hertz Rental Car in Sunny Isles Beach and was going home to celebrate Mother’s Day.

A 5-year-old boy on vacation from Texas was grazed in the chaotic shooting. A young woman sitting in a Chevrolet Suburban SUV was also wounded and is expected to recover. On Monday morning, Miami-Dade police identified the woman as 19-year-old Kaylyn Marie Long.

The sound of bullets in the busy area sent people running, ducking under tables at nearby restaurants, hiding behind food counters and fearing for their lives.

“It’s sad. We are supposed to be celebrating our moms today, and instead we are dealing with this tragic shooting,” said Zeta Bourne, who works at BurgerFi across the street. She said customers ran to the back for safety after hearing gunshots.

In a separate, but nearby shooting around the same time, another person was struck and suffered minor injuries at the exit ramp of the William Lehman Causeway on to West Country Club Drive in Aventura. The span over the Intracoastal links Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach.

Aventura police said they were working with Sunny Isles and Miami-Dade police to learn if the two shootings were connected.

Sunny Isles Beach police officers stand near a van where an individual was found shot to death after a shooting close by that reports say involved rapper NBA Youngboy on May 12, 2019, in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Police continue to investigate both of the scenes near the Trump International Beach Resort. Joe Raedle Getty Images

The three crime scenes paralyzed traffic for hours in the already crowded Northeast Miami-Dade corridor hugging the beach and one of the biggest malls in South Florida.

The Sunny Isles Beach shooting happened before 2 p.m. within shouting distance of city police headquarters. Crime scene tape surrounded the Trump condo-hotel and a strip mall across the street, where the worker was struck and killed. A minivan sitting part of the way out of a parking space contained a body covered by yellow tarp.

When officers arrived at the Trump hotel, they found several cars with bullets. Police say the stray bullet traveled across busy Collins Avenue about 100 yards from where the shooting took place and hit Jradi in the head.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s dispatch records put the Trump Miami condominium-hotel’s address, 18001 Collins Ave., as the location of the incident, and video shows paramedics transporting at least one trauma-alert patient.

Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said several people had been detained, but no arrests had yet been made. He did say several firearms were found.

On Monday, police confirmed that four men in a GMC Yukon, a vehicle seen in Sunny Isles Beach, were detained for questioning at the Rolling Loud music festival at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Zabaleta said, adding that detectives were talking to witnesses and looking for surveillance video.

NBA YoungBoy performs at the Lil’ WeezyAna Fest at Champions Square on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in New Orleans. Amy Harris /Invision/AP

Witness Anna Rodriguez said Long is rapper NBA Youngboy’s girlfriend, but that’s unconfirmed.

Rodriguez was one of several witnesses who said they saw a fight break out in front of the Trump building. She said she saw the rapper’s girlfriend shot.

She continued across the street to Liquors, Wine, Beers and More to get drinks for the Rolling Loud music festival at Hard Rock Stadium, where NBA Youngboy was scheduled to perform. While inside the liquor store, she heard more shots.

Aniban Tanoue had just parked to go to work at Mozart Cafe, a restaurant in the Sunny Isles Beach strip mall, when he heard gunshots.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “All the people [eating outside] were on the ground.”

Sunny Isles Beach police officers work near the black Suburban SUV that reports say is the vehicle rapper NBA Youngboy was riding in when a shooting took place on May 12, 2019, in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Police continue to investigate the scene in front of Trump International Beach Resort. Joe Raedle Getty Images

Collins Avenue traffic, both north and south, into the beachfront city was at a standstill Sunday after the early-afternoon shooting and investigation. Not helping matters were the Mother’s Day traffic and the shutdowns from the causeway shooting just south of the Aventura Mall, home to restaurants and a movie multiplex.

“We are working with investigators to determine if they are related. Neither incident happened at any location that could indicate a hate crime or terrorist event,” Aventura police said in a statement.

The Trump building in Sunny Isles Beach carries the name of President Donald Trump under a licensing agreement with the owner. It’s part of the transformation of the city, north of Miami Beach, in which new skyscrapers have shot up over the last 20 years where the low-slung hotels from the 1950s once stood.

Sunny Isles Beach, incorporated as a city in 1997, still has a beach vibe and touristy shops. But it also has upscale restaurants and condos. The area is known as “Little Moscow” for the high percentage of Russian-speaking residents.

Mayor Bud Scholl said Sunday night that he was “at a loss for words for what happened” to Jradi.

He also had a strong message to those involved in criminal activity: “This type of behavior in this community is not acceptable. We will not take this lying down.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.