Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Public safety

Police: Miami gunman had just been fired from fitness center

CORAL GABLES — The Miami-Dade Police Department said Sunday that the gunman who opened fire at a Florida gym was an employee at the fitness center who had just been terminated.

The department issued a statement identifying the shooter as 33-year-old Abeku Wilson of Miami, who was fired from the gym Saturday "due to work place violence and was escorted off the premises."

He then returned to the fitness center later armed with a gun, the statement said.

Equinox issued an email statement Sunday saying that it is "deeply saddened" by the deaths of two employees, 35-year-old Janine Ackerman of Miami and 42-year-old Marios Hortis of Miami Beach.

Police said both victims were deliberately targeted and that the shooting was not random.

The shooting happened about 1 p.m. at the upscale mall, the Shops at Merrick Park. Shoppers, diners at mall restaurants and people in workout gear ran to safety or took cover after reports of gunfire.

"Five gunshots," Ovi Viera, who was washing his hands in the men's locker room, told The Miami Herald. "It was too loud for it to have been a weight dropping. Within two seconds, people just started running out."

The mall is within a couple miles of the University of Miami campus. Former Miami baseball standout Javy Rodriguez said he was inside the gym and working out when the shots started, writing on Facebook that he ran to safety. He also helped others get out of the building.

"Equinox workers did an amazing job of calmly ... getting the rest out of there," Rodriguez said.

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