MIAMI — A party at a Miami nightclub turned chaotic after gunmen opened fire, wounding at least 15 people.

MIAMI — A party at a Miami nightclub turned chaotic after gunmen opened fire, wounding at least 15 people.

The party in the new club went into the wee hours Sunday morning. Strawberry daiquiris flowed. Music pulsed. Teenagers were chilling and dancing.

Then came the gunfire.

Witnesses said they heard dozens of rounds rip through a storefront Miami nightclub called The Spot, wedged between a furniture store and a smoke shop.

When the bullets stopped, 15 young people were bloodied, dazed and wounded.

Some made it to the hospital themselves, others needed help from fellow partygoers. Still others were taken to a hospital by Miami paramedics.

One person, a 15-year-old boy, remained in critical but stable condition on Sunday.. Most of the other wounds are not life-threatening and some of the injured have been released.

Dressed in dark blue hospital scrubs and using crutches, a 20-year-old man hobbled out of Jackson on Sunday afternoon to wait for his ride.

"I’ve been through a lot," said the young man, who wouldn’t give his name. He was shot in the right leg.

He said he was at the party at The Spot early Sunday listening to music when he heard "pop, pop, pop."

"I tried to run out of the way, but I got hit," he said. "I don’t know what happened."

Police say they, too, don’t know exactly what triggered the violence. One witness said it appeared that two groups of people were shooting at each other.

Owners or managers of The Spot — which bills itself as a lounge, Caribbean restaurant and bar — did not answer the door Sunday to shed light on the party or the shootings.

Perhaps the most sobering part of this latest club carnage is the tender ages of some of the victims. The youngest was 11, the oldest 25. Witnesses and people who had been in the club say the party was geared toward the teen crowd.

No suspects were taken into custody Sunday and police are asking the public for any information.

"This is crazy — people shooting people up for no reason," said area resident Michelle Williams, driving by the club late Sunday morning as investigators still combed the place.

Williams said The Spot opened recently — and that she’s just happy her teenage son was home safe during the shooting.

The nightclub has had a liquor license since April, according to records from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Investigators said they don’t know if alcohol was being served among the young crowd.

Frederica Burden, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, said investigators are trying to determine who was inside the nightclub, how many shooters there were and what prompted the firing. She said the club is cooperating in the shooting investigation.

"This has baffled everybody," she said. "We are just trying to figure out what’s going on."

To one 28-year-old woman who was across the street when the shooting started and inside the club earlier, it seemed as if the shooters were trading fire, with 100 or so clubgoers caught in the middle. The front door to the club was open at the time and the woman said she could see the flashes of gunfire inside.

"Shots were flying everywhere," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

The scene evokes memories of several Miami-area club shootings, including a massacre 22 years ago at a restaurant called Taste of the Islands. More than 100 were inside, 18 were wounded and four died. In June 2007, four armed men covering their faces with white bandanas entered the Polish American Club in Miami, and began firing at a group of young men and women celebrating their graduation. Two people were killed and five others were injured. The victims were between 15 and 20.

Then in July 2009, someone opened fire at a birthday party at an Overtown housing project where more than 200 people he gathered. Two people died and 12 others were hurt.

Other, more recent South Florida club shootings also have caused chaos and bloodshed. In December, an altercation at an Allapattah nightclub called El Romance led to the shooting death of a man. And in June, a personal chef was shot dead at Mansion, a club in South Beach, where a fight preceded the bullets and made a large crowd run for the exits.

Like in some of those cases, police have had a difficult time pinning down details at The Spot.

Burden, the Miami PD spokeswoman, said investigators are talking with witnesses and trying to sort out what happened.

"People were scrambling to get out and we have a lot of victims," she said. "There are a lot of people to talk to."

Police weren’t sure of the caliber of the weapon or if there was more than one shooter. One officer said he suspected the shooting was part of an ongoing feud.


Miami Herald staff writers Charles Rabin and Kathryn Varn contributed to this report.


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