What did Dontavious Polk do? Suspect charged as video showing Miami Beach spring break shooting goes viral online

(image via Miami Dade Authorities)
Polk was discovered to have sustained a prior gunshot wound during the time of his arrest (image via Miami Dade Authorities)

A man was allegedly shot and killed by 24-year-old Dontavious Polk on Sunday, March 19, 2023, during a Miami Beach spring break celebration.

Shocking footage of the incident shows Polk walking up to the victim and firing at him 11 times, killing him. Polk continues shooting at the victim even as the latter collapses to the ground, before the shooter flees the scene. Another person also sustained minor injuries at the scene of the crime, but officials have yet to confirm if the injuries are from a gunshot wound or not.

Police are also yet to reveal the identities of both the victims.

Trigger warning: This article contains mentions and certain details of a shooting. Discretion is advised.

According to Miami Beach authorities, Dontavious Polk is suspected to have perpetuated the shooting with a stolen semiautomatic Glock. The 24-year-old suspect was arrested later the same day after officials chased him for several blocks. He was booked into custody after he was hospitalized for a prior gunshot wound.

Miami Beach shooting leads to curfew by Mayor Dan Gelber

As per Local 10, the Miami Beach shooting was the second fatal shooting recorded on Ocean Drive over the weekend. While officials have Dontavious Polk in custody, they have not confirmed the motive behind the fatal shooting.

Addressing the incident, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber imposed a curfew to prevent any further incidents of violence. Tourists were prevented from being in the South Beach area between 11:59 pm on Sunday and 6 am on Monday. Gelber blamed the two shootings on public disorder and easy access to firearms.

Gelber said:

“The volume of people in our city and the unruly nature of too many and the presence of guns has created peril that cannot go unchecked."

He added that Spring Break also created a dangerous environment that led to crime and violence. He said that this was in part, due to the pervasive drinking and drug use that can be expected during the celebrations.

The Mayor added that they haven't asked for Spring Break to be held in their city and neither do they want it there. He noted that it was rowdy and since it brought in too much disorder, it was difficult to police Spring Break.

As per NBC Miami, Polk's victim's name has not been released. Authorities are investigating the possibility of other suspects who may have been involved in the incident, as Dontavious Polk was supposedly seen walking with three other men before the shooting.

Gun violence in Miami Beach

As per NBC South Florida, since 2016, Miami Beach has seen a 45 percent increase in gun violence. In 2021, Miami-Dade County saw 249 homicides.

Alex Piquero said that it has been proven that police initiatives to confiscate firearms can contribute to lowering gun violence in the city.

Piquero, a professor of criminology at the University of Miami, added:

"It starts and ends with guns. The lethality of guns when they're used in altercations is much higher than a fist or a knife. So it's violent places, violent people and guns off the street."

Of the 249 murders seen in Miami-Dade County in 2021, 202 were perpetrated with firearms.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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