Spring break shootings spark Miami Beach curfew for second year in a row

Police officer on an ATV patrolling Florida's South Beach
A police officer on an ATV patrols Florida’s South Beach on Monday.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

City of Miami Beach officials declared a state of emergency Monday and an upcoming curfew, hoping to curb violent spring break incidents such as two shootings over the weekend that wounded five people.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Alina Hudak announced the emergency order at an afternoon news conference. It includes a curfew for the South Beach area that starts early Thursday and runs through the weekend.

The city commission will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the declaration, and Hudak said she plans to recommend the curfew be extended through the next weekend.


Thousands of college students and other young people gather annually in Miami Beach for spring break, and this is the second year in a row that officials for the South Florida city have declared a state of emergency in the famed partying spot.

The mayor said about 100 guns had been seized over the last four weeks, and several police officers have been injured while controlling the crowds.

“We can’t endure this anymore. We just simply can’t,” Gelber said. “This isn’t your father or your mother’s spring break. This is something wholly different.”

Miami Beach wants to turn down the volume in the city’s South Beach party neighborhood.

Oct. 2, 2021

Gelber noted that the five people were shot over the weekend despite 371 police officers being deployed.

Three people were wounded early Sunday on a street crowded with spring breakers in the city’s South Beach neighborhood, police said. Two victims were taken to a hospital, while doctors at another hospital reported that a third person arrived there with a gunshot wound. All were expected to survive.

Early Monday, officers patrolled about a block from the Sunday morning shooting site when they heard gunshots, police said. The officers found two women with gunshot wounds. Police said their wounds weren’t life-threatening.


At the urging of some residents, city officials have been working in recent years to crack down on unruly behavior in South Beach. But efforts to curb the excessive drinking and violence have raised complaints about racism, classism and business practices.

More than 1,000 people were arrested in March of last year, when the city imposed an 8 p.m. curfew. Authorities at the time sent military-style vehicles to disperse predominantly Black crowds with rubber bullets, prompting criticism from Black activists.