Lakeland, Florida shooting: At least 11 injured in targeted drive-by, police say


The number of victims injured in a shooting in Lakeland, Fla. on Monday has risen to 11 after another victim was taken to a hospital himself, according to Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor.

Lakeland Police said the incident was a “targeted assault” in a Lakeland neighborhood, CNN reported.

Two of the 11 victims are in critical condition and have “very serious injuries” – including a man shot in the face and another shot in the abdomen. Investigators have spoken to the other nine victims – all of whom are expected to survive – for their accounts of the shooting, Taylor said at a briefing Tuesday morning.

Police recovered a blue Nissan in Lakeland that matches the one used in Monday afternoon’s drive-by shooting, Taylor said. Investigators have a “high level of confidence” that they have found the vehicle used in the shooting, the chief said.

The boss says they’re trying to expedite the lab results using evidence found in the vehicle. Firearms were among the items found with the car, he said.

Four people were inside the vehicle during the drive-by and at least two fired outside the vehicle, Taylor said. No one is currently in custody, but investigators have identified some “very promising leads” and at least one suspect, the chief said.

Taylor said police are looking for at least four men who may have been wearing face coverings. He urged community members to call each other with any information they might have that might help with the investigation.

In cooperation with Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida, the police department on Monday offered a $5,000 reward for anyone who provides information that may lead to the identification and arrest of suspects in connection with the shooting. Information can be reported at 1-900-226 TIPS (8477).

At the scene, police found a “amount” of marijuana, which police suggest “there was a drug sale or sale of marijuana going on at the time,” Taylor said. “Whether that is significant or related is unknown.”

The officials did not want to give any further information about the vehicle and the registered owner.

Taylor stressed that investigators were working around the clock to gather evidence and file warrants for those responsible.

“That doesn’t happen in Lakeland. I’ve been here for 34 years and I can tell you I’ve never worked at an event where so many people were shot at once,” he said.

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