A Florida man fired a gun inside a Miami Beach hotel after police say he became angry that a mother and son weren’t social distancing.
The shooting happened on Monday night at the Crystal Beach Suites Hotel on Collins Avenue. Douglas Marks, 29, entered the lobby of the beachfront hotel and noticed a mother and son sitting on a couch.
“You all aren’t social distancing,” Marks told the mother and son, according to the police report. Marks then told them, “You all need to leave.” The mother, Veronica Pena, and her son ignored the man.
“Let me take care of them, I have two people not following directions,” Marks said, according to Pena. Marks then pulled out a firearm and fired several shots. An anonymous witness said he shielded the mother and son during the shooting, and claimed there were “like six” shots fired.
Police say the shooter “continued to scream commands to social distance while holding the firearm and subsequently fired several shots.”
“The guy came and started shooting,” a witness said. “The son and the mom were, like, crying, and they were scared.”
Elio Rodriguez was in a Crystal Beach Suites Hotel room with his wife and child when the shooting occurred and said he tried to protect his family when the gunshots rang out.
“‘Bam! Bam!’ Real loud, loud. I just grabbed everybody and put them on the floor,” Rodriguez told WSVN. “I grabbed my daughter and everybody and put them on the floor.”
No one was injured. There was a bullet hole only inches away from the hotel’s front desk.
Marks was arrested by Miami Beach Police. He surrendered to police without incident.
Marks later admitted to the shooting. The police report stated that Marks asked the hotel front desk to call 911 before firing “four warning shots.” He said that he did so because he was being followed by someone, the Miami Herald reported.
On Tuesday morning, Marks was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, use of a firearm to commit a felony, and discharging a firearm in public. He was being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $11,000 bond, according to jail records.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, there have been numerous violent and alarming incidents involving COVID-19 precautions.
Earlier this month, a California Lyft rider attacked her driver and spat at him after the Lyft driver requested that she wear a face mask.
Two men attacked a security guard at a Target store in May after they refused to wear a face mask.
There was a viral video this week of a woman enraged that small children were not wearing face masks. She told the children: “I hope you all die!”