Weekend security checkpoints planned for downtown Orlando following mass shooting

ORLANDO, Fla. — Mayor Buddy Dyer announced on Monday that the city will make security changes starting this weekend.

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The news came as dust continued to settle from a shooting in the heart of downtown early Sunday.

The gunfire left seven people hurt, Orlando police said.

The city’s plan is to add six checkpoints around Orlando’s nightlife epicenter along South Orange Avenue.

Dyer said the plan is similar to measures the city takes when expecting big crowds on holidays.

READ: From glitz and glam to checkpoints: downtown Orlando’s safety plan represents hard fall

“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to make sure downtown is safe,” said Dyer. “If I had the ability to make downtown a weapons-free zone I would do that but since we can’t I’m going to do everything we can.”

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Sunday near the area of Wall Street Plaza and South Orange Avenue.

Orlando police said that as bars and restaurants were closing, a large fight broke out and shooting followed.

On Monday, police continued to search for shooting suspects.

Channel 9 received a video from someone who happened to be recording right before the person pulled out a gun.

The video shows that after the shots rang out, dozens of people ran down South Orange Avenue in fear.

“Just a big crowd, then all of the sudden I see this girl in front of me, she turns around and like spinning running towards me. And she says shots,” said resident Sarah Burnett. “How can we just have guns on us downtown? That’s really the scary part is anybody can have it and if they’ve been drinking, if they’re frustrated or upset that’s the go-to.”

READ: Video captures gunfire that left 7 hurt in downtown Orlando, police still seeking tips

Orlando Police opened a portal for witnesses to provide tips, photos, and any video they may have captured during the shooting.

Bar owners expressed their concerns to the city and Mayor Dyer.

The owner of The Lodge bar wrote Mayor Buddy Dyer a letter asking the city to do better following the shooting.

The city has been working to curb crime downtown for months now.

The city planning board has been pushing safety measures, including a permit for bars that serve alcohol after midnight.

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Channel 9 reached out to the city for comment on it, they said they’re processing the request.

In response to Channel 9′s request for more information, police said they are still working to get a description of the suspect.

Police ask anyone with information to call Orlando Police Department or contact Crimeline by texting or dialing **8477(TIPS).

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.