At least 11 people wounded in Lakeland, Florida, shooting, police say
By Melissa Alonso, CNN
The number of victims hurt in Monday’s Lakeland, Florida, shooting has increased to eleven after an additional victim self-transported to a hospital, according to Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor.
Lakeland police have said the incident was a “targeted attack” in a Lakeland neighborhood, CNN has reported.
Two of the eleven victims are listed in critical condition and have “very serious injuries” — including a man who was shot in the face and another shot in the abdomen. Investigators have spoken to the other nine victims — who are all expected to survive — for their account of the shooting, said Taylor at a Tuesday morning briefing.
Police have recovered a blue Nissan in Lakeland matching the one used in the Monday afternoon drive-by shooting, said Taylor. Investigators have a “high level of confidence” that they’ve located the vehicle used in the shooting, said the chief.
The chief says they are trying to expedite lab results from evidence found inside the vehicle. Firearms were among the items found incident the car, he said.
Four people were in the vehicle during the drive-by and at least two were shooting outside the vehicle, said Taylor. No one is in custody at this time but investigators have some “very promising leads” and at least one suspect identified, said the chief.
Police are looking for at least four males who may have been wearing facial coverings, according to Taylor. He urged members of the community to call in with any information they may have that could help with the investigation.
In a joint effort with Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida, the police department on Monday offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who provides information that can lead to the identification and arrest of suspects connected to the shooting. Information may be reported at 1-900-226 TIPS (8477).
At the crime scene, police found a “quantity” of marijuana, which indicates to police that “there was a narcotic sales or sales of marijuana going on at the time,” Taylor said. “Whether that is significant or related to this is unknown.”
Officials declined to provide additional information about the vehicle and the registered owner.
Taylor stressed that investigators are working around the clock to gather evidence and file warrants to arrest those responsible.
“This is something that doesn’t happen in Lakeland. I’ve been here 34 years, and I can tell you I have never worked an event where this many people have been shot at one time ever,” he said.
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CNN’s Joe Sutton, Amy Simonson and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.