The shooting near Daytona Beach’s Boardwalk happened Saturday evening.
DAYTONA BEACH — At least five people were treated for gunshot wounds Saturday night after a large crowd blocked State Road A1A and a fight spilled into a restaurant in the heart of the city's tourist area, officials said.
About 200 young men and women people were observed in helicopter video dancing, partying and gathering on the sidewalk in the middle of the street outside the Burger King, 225 N. Atlantic Ave., as the sun came down on the first big night of the Memorial Day weekend.
"They're clearly throwing cash on the ground," said a sheriff's helicopter deputy as he watched people scattered all over the street.
The gathering continued as police shut down all traffic coming over the bridges on to Daytona Beach's barrier island. A helicopter from Seminole County Sheriff’s Office assisted.
At 8:18 p.m., a deputy on police radio reported two people were in a hospital emergency room being treated for gunshot wounds. Three more showed up six minutes later.
Police reported they were breaking up a fight at the Winghouse restaurant, across from the Burger King, at 8:24 p.m.
The Burger King is historically notorious for such gatherings and at least one person has been killed there in past gun violence.
Officials said in communications that traffic lights were switched to green westbound to get people off the beachside. Around the same time police were responding to and breaking up large gatherings on the city's mainland, in the area of Mary McLeod Bethune boulevard to the northern border near Holly Hill.
No one was arrested in the mainland gatherings which were broken up after 9 p.m. and included vehicles being towed.
Police have released information in email and on social media in the wake of the incidents. An initial email from Daytona Beach police Saturday night stated that one person was in custody in the beachside incident. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office tweeted on Sunday morning that no one was arrested.
Earlier this evening, we had a shooting on the beach side, several people sustained non-life-threatening injuries and have been treated and released. This is an ongoing investigation.— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) May 24, 2020
Daytona Beach police Chief Craig Capri said in a Saturday phone interview that the shooting appeared to be related to the Boardwalk-area crowd.
Besides the shooting, Daytona Beach police had a very busy day working large crowds on the Boardwalk and the beach but, when approached by police, they were compliant, Capri said.
Coronavirus social distancing rules in Volusia County state that people on the beach are must be in groups of 10 or fewer and those groups must remain 6 feet apart.
That wasn’t happening in the beachside incident.
"We have not made any arrests because of large crowds, Capri said.
As people left the beach Saturday, groups started setting up parties on the mainland, in the areas of Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard, Kingston and Washington streets, and Mason Avenue.
The parties were broken up, people were asked to leave and they did, Capri said.
More information is expected to be released at a Sunday afternoon press conference, a police spokesman said.