10 shots at Miami FL area French Montana video shoot

Miami Gardens police units responded to the area of ​​The Licking Restaurant with reports of multiple shooting victims in Miami Gardens on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

Miami Gardens police units responded to the area of ​​The Licking Restaurant with reports of multiple shooting victims in Miami Gardens on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

adiaz@miamiherald.com

A video shoot involving a multi-platinum rap star outside a popular Miami Gardens soul food restaurant Thursday night erupted in gunfire injuring 10 when a man — for reasons not yet known — opened fire with an assault-style rifle while standing behind a $400,000 car being used as a prop.

Others are believed to have returned gunfire. When the shooting stopped, New Orleans rapper French Montana managed to escape after being whisked away by security, multiple law enforcement sources told The Miami Herald. Social media posts claimed a young New Orleans rapper who goes by Rob49 and whose real name is Robert Thomas, and one of Montana’s bodyguards were shot and injured during the barrage. Police could not confirm that.

The chaotic scene in the parking lot behind The Licking restaurant at 17647 NW 27th Ave., happened at about 8 pm, while patrons were inside. None were injured, however, police said, as the shooting was confined to an area behind the business where the only entrance is for employees.

Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said Friday morning that the police were not informed about the video production and that no permit had been pulled, as required. She also wouldn’t confirm if Thomas and Montana’s bodyguard were injured.

“Any time you’re filming within the city, you should obtain a permit, or at least let us know what’s going on,” the chief said.

The video production was centered around a group of picnic tables that were half-circled by luxury and exotic sports cars that included a pair of Rolls-Royces and a black McLaren, which had its back window shot out, the source said. There were other cars as well, most tricked-out classic “hi-riser: vehicles with lift kits, some that were propped up on three wheels.

Investigators believe the gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle, and got off a volley of rounds, the source said.

No motive has been established, the source said, but investigators are trying to determine whether the ambush might have been related to a fight that happened at a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken earlier in the evening, where the production was initially scheduled to take place.

Police wouldn’t speculate as to what led to the violent outburst, but a source familiar with the investigation said multiple weapons were found on the ground and they’re doing forensic analysis to determine if others opened fire.

After the shooting, victims were taken to several area hospitals. Some of the injured scattered from the scene and were transported by friends. Others were taken by ambulance to Jackson Memorial Hospital downtown, Jackson North and Aventura hospitals. Some of the victim’s loved ones were spotted at Jackson Memorial Hospital Thursday night waiting patiently for any information.

Investigators were still trying to track down witnesses Friday morning. Publicly, Miami Gardens police only offered that 10 people were shot and they learned about it through the electronic surveillance system known as Shotspotter.

LOCAL RAPPER A WITNESS

Witness and local rapper Ced Mogul told NBC 6 the video was originally shot at a nearby KFC but later moved to The Licking following a robbery. He also shared a video with the station that showed French Montana and Rob49 sitting in the backseat of a car during the shoot.

Rob49 grew up in New Orleans and was discovered as a rapping talent in recent years. His name comes from having grown up in New Orleans 4th and 9th wards. His family fled to Houston after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but he later returned.

French Montana, a Moroccan-American whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, has been a rap mainstay for well over a decade. He’s a multi-platinum award winner who boasts more than 34 million social media followers and who signed contracts with Hip Hop legends Diddy and Rick Ross over a decade ago.

Video from several Twitter users showed police giving aid to two men whom the posters identified as Rob49 and Montana’s bodyguard.

SECOND MASS SHOOT SINCE NEW YEAR

It’s been a rough start to the year in Miami Gardens where eight people celebrating on New Year’s Eve were shot in the backyard of a home just past midnight. No one was killed and the injuries were all to the lower extremities. Police found bullet casings near a house next to the family’s. But six days later, still no arrest has been made.

The last shooting with as many victims was in northwest Miami-Dade in June 2021 just outside the entrance to the El Mula banquet hall. As the crowd emptied what had been an album release party, three men wearing masks got out of a car in the parking lot and sprayed it with semi-automatic rifle gunfire. Although the shooting lasted just a few seconds, three people were killed and 21 others were injured.

And the Licking parking lot was also where Miami-Dade Police spotted a stolen Dodge Charger and a Dodge Challenger last January, that they believed were involved in the murder of a Brownsville rap musician in Kendall a few nights earlier. Police chased both vehicles. The Charger got away. The Challenger crashed into a fence a few blocks away and the police began a foot chase with a 15-year-old named Vito Corleone-Vinisee. The teen was shot in the neck during the chase, but survived. Police said he pulled a gun before the officer fired his weapon.

This story was originally published January 6, 2023 11:39 AM.

Chuck Rabin, writing news stories for the Miami Herald for the past three decades, covers cops and crime. Before that he covered the halls of government for Miami-Dade and the city of Miami. He’s covered hurricanes, the 2000 presidential election and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting. On a random note: Long before those assignments, Chuck was pepper-sprayed covering the disturbances in Miami the morning Elián Gonzalez was whisked away by federal authorities.

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