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The TPD investigates a double murder outside a McDonald’s. Witness describes moment of terror


The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating a double homicide that occurred after a daylight shooting outside a Tallahassee McDonald’s on Thursday evening sent panic inside the restaurant.

According to TPD’s social media incident alert, the bodies of two men were found in a parking lot at 2026 W. Pensacola Street when police arrived. The police department’s real-time crime tracking map showed that shots had been fired and that the suspect was carrying a weapon.

TPD spokeswoman Heather Merritt told Tallahassee Democrats that “detectives are working at the scene to interview witnesses and review surveillance footage.” “All suspects or suspects will still be big,” she says.

There were no suspects at first, but Merritt later said the two were taken into custody for questioning, but as of 9 p.m. Thursday night, no arrests were made.

She said it was too early to tell the circumstances of the shoot.

“We are working very quickly to determine what happened and who we are looking for,” she said.

TPD is asking anyone who witnessed the incident to call 850-891-4200.

Witness hiding in bathroom, tries to escape through ceiling

Construction worker Renzo Hernandez told Democrats he was in the bathroom when he heard the gunshot.

“When I walked into (McDonald’s) there were four boys arguing outside the car, but I didn’t pay attention to them,” he said in Spanish-translated dialogue. “When you enter the bathroom, you start hearing gunshots one after another.”

He thought it was the culprit inside the restaurant.

“I didn’t want to go out,” he said when he heard screams and running and sirens blaring from behind the locked door.

With his life in danger, he began to try to escape by piercing the ceiling tiles with his pocket knife. When things calmed down, he waited more than 10 minutes before he dared to leave. He also told the police his horrific story through his interpreter.

A history of violence and what cities are trying to do about it

According to the Tallahassee Democrat’s analysis of gun violence, 39 shootings in state capitals and counties so far in 2023 have resulted in eight deaths and at least 29 injuries.

The latest outbreak of violence in the capital came across the site of a mass shooting in late October that left one innocent bystander dead and eight others injured. More than 40 to 50 shots were fired at the scene of chaos.

‘Amazing amount of gunfire’: 1 killed, 8 injured in Tallahassee crowd shooting

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Related: Unreported shooting of male in halftime liquor parking lot three days before shooting

The shooting occurred on Thursday evening as the Tallahassee City Council was attempting to deal with violent crime that has plagued the city for years. City Hall is calling for a 10% increase in property taxes on citizens to increase TPD’s budget for more police officers, cameras and monitoring equipment.

It also comes as the city changes course on how to stop bloodshed. Last year, while investing $1 million to fight gun violence, city commissioners voted to contract with the Mass Violence Intervention Program, a national initiative aimed at reducing crime. Developed at John Jay College, the GVI program focuses on containment rather than prevention. It relies on community members with “moral authority” over members of violent street groups, who in turn deliver credible messages of deterrence and counter-violence.

Frustrated with the time taken to get the program started, commissioners abruptly suspended the contract in a 3-2 vote in late April and awarded $300,000 to the newly created Tallahassee-Leon County Council on the Status Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil and Council Director Royle King. led by Men and Boys.

McNeil said the city council will provide violence stop services and counselors for children found to be in violation of the law.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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