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Three officers injured in two South Beach shootings

Three Miami Beach police officers were hospitalized after a pair of shootings.

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Sgt. Alejandro Bello says the officers' injuries are not life-threatening.

Detective Jenny Velazquez told the Miami Herald that details about Monday's shootings remain "very cloudy" due to the number of officers from different agencies patrolling South Beach crowds for the holiday.

Velazquez says police opened fire in one shooting just before 4 a.m. when a driver got into an altercation with an officer.

The driver was killed and four bystanders were injured.

In the second shooting, police say another driver accelerated toward an officer in a blocked-off area. The officer fired at the driver until he crashed, but no one was injured. The driver was arrested.

ORLANDO

Wildfire chases people from homes

A fast-moving wildfire forced the evacuation of 12 homes east of DeLand in Volusia County on Monday.

The evacuations were ordered as a precaution as firefighters battled the 150-acre blaze. The brush fire has been burning since Wednesday and was 50 percent contained, said county spokeswoman Pat Kuehn.

Since Saturday, multiple crews from various counties and state agencies have been trying to put out wildfires in Volusia, Brevard, Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.

Dry conditions and 10- to 20-mph winds have caused problems for the firefighters fanned out across the region, said Cliff Frazier of the Florida Department of Forestry's Orlando district. Many of the fires were caused by lightning strikes, he said.

Frazier said a 1,000-acre brush fire near a Lockheed Martin facility was about 75 percent contained Monday.

COCOA BEACH

More than 400 stung by jellyfish

More than 400 people have suffered jellyfish stings over the holiday weekend on a Central Florida beach.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Assistant Chief Eisen Witcher says legions of jellyfish called mauve stingers washed ashore from the Atlantic, primarily around Cocoa Beach.

Witcher says more than 200 people suffered sings to their legs, arms and torsos Saturday. More than 200 more people suffered similar stings Sunday. No major health problems were reported.

MIAMI

Miami slam poet killed outside cafe

Authorities are investigating the death of a poetry slam champion who was gunned down outside his North Miami cafe.

The North Miami Police Department says Willie Lee Bell Jr. had just closed the Literary Café and Poetry Lounge early Sunday when he was shot repeatedly. The shooter and at least one other man sped away in a car.

Police say the men did not take any of Bell's possessions, which included cash and jewelry. Police do not have a motive.

The 47-year-old Bell, whose stage name was Will Da Real One, has been featured on Def Poetry Jam.

Times wires, Orlando Sentinel

Three officers injured in two South Beach shootings 05/30/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 30, 2011 10:03pm]

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