'It's OK Corral:' 911 caller describes 50 shots fired near Melbourne restaurant

Police searching for shooters, 2 people injured

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Innocent bystanders heading into church and picking their children up from after-school activities witnessed a shooting Tuesday evening that Melbourne police say consisted of at least 50 shots fired.

Officials with the Melbourne Police Department said they received numerous reports at 6:37 p.m. that people were shooting firearms at Lizzy's Restaurant on East University Boulevard. The walk-up soul-food eatery has no indoor seating and is located near Stone Junior High School and a residential area.

"They're firing like it's OK Corral," one 911 caller said when dispatch asked how many shots she heard.

Police said because of the large crowd, officers initially had a difficult time determining who was involved in the shooting, but discovered those responsible had left the area before police arrived.

"It does appear there was multiple shooters, multiple different types of guns," Lt. Shawn Eising, a spokesperson for the Melbourne PD, told News 6 partner Florida Today.

A caller at the Church of God on Main Street told dispatch, "It sounds like automatic weapons at Main and University," and then, "I just heard ‘em as we were walking into church."

One person was taken to an area hospital for injuries received by shattering glass and shrapnel, police said, and one other victim was known to police. No one reported to nearby hospitals with injuries consistent with the shooting, police said.

"I need an ambulance," a 911 caller said. "I need an ambulance, somebody just got shot."

During a news conference Wednesday, police said they believe Tuesday night's shooting was out of retaliation.

"We don't believe this incident was necessarily a random act," Chief David Gillespie said.

Police said overnight Monday, less than 24 hours before the shooting, someone was stabbed in front of Lizzy's.

Police said the unidentified victim is in critical but stable condition.

The morning after the gun violence, Melbourne police released numerous 911 calls made within minutes of the shooting. Some people appeared reluctant to describe the shooters.

"We just heard a shooting and we called the police, we didn’t see nothing," an anonymous 911 caller said. "No, I don’t want to leave my name."

Several other callers immediately offered vehicle and possible shooter descriptions.

A woman picking up her son at Stone Junior High School said she saw a person standing in front of Lizzy's, shooting.

The same part of town is where two other shootings remain open cases.

A car was riddled with bullets last summer and a neighborhood party at Lipscomb Park was fired on last Easter.

In both cases, no one was badly injured and witnesses are not cooperating.

"We also believe there were some people that were present during this that have information that have not come forward. And I urge you if you have information to come forward to the Melbourne Police Department," Gillespie said.

Melbourne police continue to investigate the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Amy Perez at 321-608-673, or anonymous tipsters can call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). 
 

Melbourne police continue to investigate the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Amy Perez at 321-608-673, or anonymous tipsters can call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

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