Two men were injured after they were involved in a shootout at a motel in Hialeah Friday morning, police said.
The incident happened at the Palacio Inn Motel on E. Okeechobee Road.
Officials said they believe the two men knew each other and were involved in a drug-related shootout in one of the motel's rooms.
One man was critically injured and the other suffered less serious injuries, officials said.
“I heard about 12 shots and I ran out and there’s a guy laying there on the ground,” said Robert Ford, who was staying at the motel.
Security camera video from the auto repair shop next door showed part of the aftermath. A man was seen falling onto the pavement in the parking lot, then he gets into a car which takes him to the hospital.
Police said he was one of them men involved in the incident.
“This is not a random incident, it appears to be drug related at this time, our victim was hit, gunshot wound, he’s in stable condition, the subject is in custody, and was also hit, he’s in critical condition,” said Maj. Hubert Ruiz of the Hialeah Police Department.
A mechanic who was working next door said he wasn't sure if he heard shots or a truck backfiring.
“I hear five or more more shots again and some guy run away and told me, run, somebody’s shooting,” said auto mechanic Alejandro Espinosa.
“I’m like, holy crap, I’m like wow, I can’t believe this happened here in this hotel,” Ford added.
Hialeah officials said it's not the first time there's been violence at the motel.
"We prepared a task force and for the last four months we have been surveilling four motels and it just so happens that this motel was the more problematic one,” said Hialeah City Council president Jesus Tundidor.
Tundidor said Friday’s shooting incident is a prime example of why the city is trying to ban hourly rates in hotels. Right now, he says, 13 hotels in Hialeah offer rooms by the hour.
“This isn’t a surprise to us, we’ve seen not just shootings but we see prostitution, we’ve seen drugs, we see a whole mess of issues and this is why the city council has decided to move forward with this ordinance,” Tundidor said.
Tundidor was referring to an ordinance which would prohibit hourly room rates in hotels. It passed its first reading this week.
The manager at the Palacio said his hotel does not offer hourly rates, contradicting the city council president. He also maintained his hotel does not have a crime problem.