A man covered in blood directed police to the 11th floor of the Miami Beach Resort late Saturday night, saying he had just witnessed the shooting of a friend.
But after responding to a 911 call from the hotel on Collins Avenue around 10 p.m., authorities were interrupted on their way to the crime scene by an alarming and very strong odor.
A hazmat team was dispatched, and an estimated 1,000 guests, many part of a wedding party underway on the top floor of the hotel, were evacuated.
Those ushered from the building included Prime Minister of Belize Dean Darrow, who was in the midst of a dinner speech and was accompanied by his own security team.
Police officers were outfitted with protective gear and allowed to make sure the scene was safe. After locating the body of the victim, a white male, they cleared out while the odor was investigated.
Officials were able to confirm the smell posed no threat at about 1:30 a.m., at which point police were able to investigate the scene. They were unable to say if the victim may have been alive when first responders were prevented from reaching him.
Hotel guests were allowed back inside the hotel about 3:00 a.m., and are being questioned about the shooting. Police say they have not yet discovered a motive.