“Multiple Injuries in Lakeland Drive-By Shooting: Police Search for Suspects”
On Monday afternoon, a drive-by shooting in Lakeland, Florida resulted in at least 11 people being injured, with two of the wounded in critical condition, according to police. The local authorities initially reported that 10 people had been hurt in the mass shooting, but later updated the number to 11 after one additional person was admitted to a nearby hospital. The shooters remain at large, and the police are actively searching for them.
Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor stated at a news conference that the shooting was likely targeted and not a random act of violence. He reported that the shooting took place at 3:45 p.m. and involved gunfire from all four windows of a slow-moving four-door Nissan with tinted windows, a temporary tag, and described as dark blue.
By Tuesday morning, investigators had found a vehicle matching the description of the Nissan involved in the drive-by shooting in West Lakeland, according to the police chief. He believes that four individuals were inside the vehicle and that at least two of them were involved in the shooting, but he noted that “there may be more.” The police have a high level of confidence that the vehicle is the one seen fleeing the scene of the shooting in surveillance footage, but additional tests are being conducted to confirm the match.
Chief Taylor stated that detectives have worked throughout the night to identify suspects and have some “very promising leads” and “promising information.” The police chief could not provide many details about the leads currently being pursued, but mentioned that detectives have identified more than one possible suspect and that they are from Polk County, but not from Lakeland.
Two of the victims were transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital in critical condition, with one undergoing surgery and the other either in surgery or headed to surgery at the time of the press conference. One of them had been shot in the abdomen, and the other suffered a gunshot wound to the jaw area. The other nine victims had injuries that were not life-threatening, with one suffering a ricochet wound, and are expected to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.
All the victims were adult males, aged between 20 and 35, according to Chief Taylor. The shooting is a tragedy for the Lakeland community, which considers itself a “small town situated between Tampa and Orlando.” The police chief expressed sadness that events like this have happened in Lakeland, and it makes him realize that the town may no longer be a “small town.”
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