Last month's shooting outside Chances Nightclub in residential Lake Worth was startling, but it seems the incident -- which left two young people in the hospital with life-threatening bullet wounds -- is one more in a trend of nightclub shootings across South Florida.
This week's Cover Story in Miami New Times, by Natalie O'Neal, details several similar incidents down south. According to the story, 12 people have been murdered inside or while leaving nightclubs in Miami-Dade in the past two years. Most victims were young, with bright futures and no criminal history. They range from an 18-year-old security guard who was shot to a 21-year-old immigrant found hacked to pieces.
By those standards, Brooke Harris, the 19-year-old Boynton Beach woman shot in the back outside Chances, was lucky.
It was just before dawn -- about 4:20 a.m. -- on Sunday, March 21. Harris was leaving the club with three friends: Benedict Fonteil, 21, of Greenacres; Lakeisha Moore, 21, of West Palm Beach; and Christian Alcimeus, 20, of Boynton Beach.
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Because no witnesses would discuss the incident, details are few. According to the police report, the four clubgoers piled into Harris' sedan and began pulling out of the parking lot. That's when another car pulled alongside and someone inside started shooting. Harris was hit in the lower back. Fonteil was shot in the left leg and the right shoulder. The other two passengers were not hit.
Harris, bleeding profusely, immediately pulled out of the parking lot and drove to the Mobile station at Jog Road and Lantana Road. There, she called 911. Harris and Fonteil were flown to Delray Medical Center.
Police are still searching for clues in the shooting.
Brooke Harris has a criminal history that includes an arrest last June in Delray Beach for fraud and theft. Alcimeus, one of the uninjured passengers, has a record that includes arrests for fleeing police and marijuana possession.