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Man opens fire in lobby of Florida hotel because mother and son weren’t social distancing

A man opened fire in a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida because a mother and son were not social distancing, police are saying.

The shooting reportedly took place on Monday night at the Crystal Beach Suites Hotel on Collins Avenue, where Douglas Marks reportedly walked into the lobby and saw Veronica Pena sitting on a couch with her son, according to The Blaze.

“You all aren’t social distancing,” Marks told the pair, according to the police report. He then added, “You all need to leave.”

When Pena and her son ignored the man, he became enraged and said, “Let me take care of them, I have two people not following directions.”

He proceeded to pull out a gun and opened fired. An anonymous male witness stepped in to shield Pena and her son from the bullets, and they later said there were “like six” shots fired. Police said that Marks “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 daughter when they heard gunshots, and he immediately rushed to protect his family.

“‘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.”

Though nobody was injured, a bullet hole was later found only inches away from the hotel’s front desk. Marks was later arrested by the Miami Beach Police, and he quickly admitted to the shooting, claiming that he had done it because he was being followed by someone.

Marks has since been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, use of a firearm to commit a felony, and discharging a firearm in public. He is currently being held in jail on an $11,000 bond.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on July 30, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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