A troubling wave of gun violence has plagued South Florida in recent weeks, alarming public officials, residents and other members of the community. From a deadly mass shooting in Wynwood to a gunman opening fire at a Publix in Palm Beach County, dozens of people -- including children -- have been shot, killed, or severely injured.
County records show there has been a staggering 45 percent increase in gun violence since 2016. Nearly one out of four victims last year were under the age of 21.
Local leaders expect to see an increase in violence over the summer. In 2020, there were nearly 1,200 shootings in Miami-Dade County, according to county documents. 111 of those were homicides.
Here's a look at some of the most recent acts of gun violence in South Florida since Memorial Day weekend.
What's being done to curb the uptick in gun violence?
Local leaders are doing what they can to address the recent spate of violence.
Miami-Dade commissioners recently approved a plan from Mayor Daniella Levine Cava to combat incidents of gun violence. The “Peace & Prosperity Plan” proposes spending $90 million over 19 years to tackle gun violence through job creation, internships, counseling and other measures, and includes a phase of more police enforcement.
"This is a multi-faceted strategic approach and it will go to the root of the problem as well as solve crimes and stop the bleeding immediately and no one solution will end gun violence. It’s necessary that we attack it on all fronts," Levine Cava said.
While community leaders are trying to enact measures to curb future incidents of gun violence, those directly affected by tragedy understand that change is collective.
"It takes more than the police, more than the commissioners, it takes all of us. And it's not going to stop because it's like everybody is hush, hush," said Darlene Duke, who lost her daughter Lashonte Jones to gun violence last month.
Psychiatrist Dr. Delvena Thomas knows firsthand from her patients the effects of gun violence.
"We know that gun violence occurs a lot in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, especially in low income and impoverished neighborhoods," Thomas said. "We know that gun exposure and gun violence affects a child's well being and can affect their school performance."
Organizers for the anti-gun violence campaign We Are Orange say that in the U.S., more than 100 people are killed daily with guns and more than 3,000 children and teens are shot and killed yearly.
"Political egos don't need to be in the way. People who know what needs to be done on the ground need to be properly supported," said Lyle Muhammad of the Circle of Brotherhood.