‘Targeted’ Mass Shooting Rocks Lakeland, Florida: Suspects At Large
Police Line/Getty Images
Police Line/Getty Images

A mass shooting rocked Lakeland, Florida, on Monday afternoon — leaving at least ten people injured, two of them critically so.

According to a report from CNN, there may have been as many as four shooters in a dark-blue four-door Nissan that pulled up to the scene prior to the shooting and drove away immediately after it was over.

“The vehicle slowed, did not stop, and the four windows went down. It appeared to be occupied by four shooters in the vehicle,” Lakeland Police Department Chief Sam Taylor explained. “They started firing from all four windows of the vehicle and shooting males on both sides.”

Taylor said that the police believe the shooting was targeted, and noted that the blue Nissan had temporary tags and was the subject of an ongoing active search.

“We will be out most of the night trying to figure out who these individuals are in the vehicle,” Taylor added.

Authorities found an undisclosed amount of marijuana at the scene, and Taylor said police have theorized that there may have been sales going on at the time of the shooting. “Whether that is significant or related to this is unknown.”

According to a Monday afternoon press conference, four officers were on the scene just one minute after the calls came in reporting the shooting — and they were able to locate three victims and have them transported to local hospitals. The remaining victims were transported to the hospital in personal vehicles after reportedly suffering non-life-threatening injuries.


Surveillance video from a nearby location caught audio of the shots as they rang out on Monday afternoon.

Gun control advocates quickly attempted to tie the shooting — which police believe was related to the drug dealing that was allegedly happening at the scene — to efforts by Republicans in the Florida legislature allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) tweeted, “My heart aches for the victims, families and whole community. America, esp. FLA, endures too many mass shootings. But don’t miss this sick reality: as Lakeland copes w/ this tragedy, @GovRonDeSantis and @TheFLGOP announced plans to put more guns in hands of untrained residents.”


“Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in America. In #Lakeland, children had just exited their school bus nearby before this shooting. Turning #Florida into the Wild West will lead to more death and tragedy. Tell state lawmakers we want safer communities!” Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) added. 

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) weighed in as well, saying, “JUST NOW: A mass shooting in Lakeland, Florida has left 10 people injured. Yet Ron DeSantis wants people to freely carry firearms without a permit, which will cause even more guns to fall into the hands of even more mass shooters.”

House Bill 543 was introduced in the Florida House on Monday, and would allow legal owners to carry a concealed firearm without applying for a specific concealed-carry permit.

“The background checks, the requirements all the same. It’ll be the same honest people and the other states that have done this have had no problems. So that’s why we’re all excited about seeing this happen,” AW Peterson Gun Shop owner Carey Baker said.

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