LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — At least 11 people were injured during a mass shooting in Lakeland Monday, according to Police Chief Sam Taylor.
In an update on the matter, Chief Taylor said his detectives worked through the night to gather clues and identify suspects in what appeared to be a targeted drive-by shooting near Iowa Avenue North and Plum Street.
“We do not have anyone in custody yet, however, detectives worked throughout the night to identify suspects and we have some very promising leads and very promising information,” Taylor said. “We are actively pursuing those leads right now.”
On Monday, authorities said a dark-colored Nissan four-door pulled up to the scene around 3:45 p.m. when at least two male shooters fired from both sides of the car. Eleven men between the ages of 20 and 35 years old were injured as a result.
Two victims were left with critical injuries and nine with non-life-threatening injuries. All nine victims with lesser injuries are expected to be released Tuesday. Authorities added that one man who was shot in the abdomen and another who was shot in the face are still undergoing treatment.
News Channel 8 obtained an exclusive video of the moment shots rang out in the neighborhood.
Taylor said he feels “very confident” there were at least four people in the drive-by vehicle. At least two people are believed to have opened fire.
The dark-colored Nissan sedan believed to be involved in the shooting was recovered in West Lakeland, however, its exact address was not disclosed.
“We have a high level of confidence that we have located the vehicle,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he believes the suspects are from the Polk County area, outside Lakeland city limits.
The president of the NAACP chapter and other community leaders gathered Tuesday afternoon, urging victims and their loved ones not to retaliate.
“Violence doesn’t solve anything. We just got through celebrating Dr. King’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and in his words, love conquers hate,” said Terry Coney, NAACP Lakeland chapter president.
“For the citizens that were injured that are in the hospital, please let law enforcement do their job. I know it’s easier said than done, because I’m not in your shoes and your situation but please let law enforcement do their job,” said Dr. Shandale Terrell, former member of Lakeland’s gang task force.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the police department.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 to anyone with information that leads to an arrest of the suspects involved. To remain anonymous and eligible for the reward, call 800-226-TIPS(8477) or dial **TIPS. You can also visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip” or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.