A Latino man in his mid-20s was shot in his left buttock after a fight at the Calle Ocho Festival Sunday, Miami Police said.
The victim, later identified as 27-year-old Victor Cruz, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and will recover, police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.
She said the shooting was the result of a fight at Southwest 8th Street and 11th Avenue between several males, one of whom produced a gun and shot the victim. No one is in custody.
Police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz said the victim “discovered that he was shot after he collapsed and he noticed that he was full of blood.”
"We’re asking any and all persons here out of the thousands of people that are here on 8th Street, if someone saw something, please come forward and help our investigators with this puzzle of an investigation so we can capture the person or persons responsible for this crime," Cruz said.
The incident occurred as hundreds of thousands of people attended festivities at Calle Ocho.
8th Street moved to a booming beat as the festival, considered the biggest block party in America, took over Little Havana.
"We're having the best time of our lives," said Jaqueline Tejera, who was among hundreds of thousands that attended the festivities.
Vendors lined both sides of Southwest 8th Street, selling sizzling Latin food, jewelry, toys and flags in every form. Partiers wore their pride on their backs and on their sleeves as they inched through the massive crowd to dance, eat, drink and repeat.
The 2013 festival included an attempt to break the world record for the largest sangria served. A total of 500 liters of sangria was to be served in honor of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida, organizers said.
“So in honor of Florida and Spain, which were the Spanish who discovered us, we are doing a 500-gallon pitcher of sangria, which we will be giving out at 3 p.m. on 16th Avenue and 8th Street,” said Henry Jimenez, president of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana.
It was Alvin Landin's second time going to the the festival, which is a celebration of Latin culture, cuisine and music. He showed his Puerto Rican pride with the jersey he wore.
“I love the music, the culture, the food, the people. It’s just a great thing. It’s good for the community," he said.
Calle Ocho was originally created in 1978 to teach the community about Cuban culture.
"If it wasn't for the Cubans, this 8th Street would not be here, it would be dead," said Little Havana resident Elizabeth Nassi. "When Cubans came in 1959, they made Calle Ocho."
Over the years, the festival, named after its location, evolved and expanded to unite all Latin American cultures and countries.
"When everybody can get together and show their colors and everybody be united, be happy, drink and eat food, that's what it's all about," added Homer Yzaguirre, who is of Mexican descent.
This year, Calle Ocho added more real estate, stretching from 8th to 27th Avenues along Southwest 8th Street, making room for 16 stages showcasing 50 performances. The Pitbull stage returned, and Miami’s Willie Chirino brought his salsa to the carnival.
It's a party for a good cause, as money made at Calle Ocho benefits the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, which helps underprivileged children in the area.
Eastbound traffic was closed on Southwest 8th Street from Southwest 27th Avenue to Southwest 7th Avenue. For more information on street closures and detours, click here.
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