Second man arrested in Miami banquet hall shooting that killed 3, wounded 20

By David Ovalle

A second man has been arrested for his suspected role in the ambush shooting at a Northwest Miami-Dade banquet hall that killed three people and wounded 20 others.

Miami-Dade police on Wednesday night booked Warneric Buckner, 20, who investigators believe is one of the suspected shooters that ambushed a crowd outside El Mula Banquet Hall on May 30. Buckner, of Miami Gardens is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and 20 counts of attempted murder, jail records show.

His arrest came nearly two weeks after police say Davonta Barnes, 22, confessed to acting as the lookout for the mass shooting that shocked South Florida during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. He was arrested and is being held in a Miami-Dade jail while awaiting trial.

The shooting outside El Mula, which was hosting a rap concert that night, was one of several high-profile shootings at the start of the summer that led Miami-Dade police and other law-enforcement agencies to launch a crackdown on violent criminals.

Among them: a wild car chase and shooting near a Miami casino, a mass shooting in Wynwood that left one dead and six wounded, and a shooting outside a swanky South Beach restaurant that ended in one man paralyzed and a rapper behind bars.

Buckner is believed to be one of three men in ski masks who got out of a stolen Nissan Pathfinder and opened fire on the crowd outside El Mula, 7630 NW 186th St. The men ran back to the SUV — as others in the parking lot fired back.

Killed in the shooting were Desmond Owens and Clayton Dillard III, both 26, and Shankquia Lechelle Peterson, 32.

The stolen SUV was later found in a canal in the area of Northwest 154th Street and Second Avenue. During a news conference, investigators said the targeted attack was connected to an ongoing rivalry between two groups.

According to a police report, Buckner was taken in for questioning on Wednesday and confessed he was a passenger in the front right passenger seat of the SUV. He admitted he was “armed with a large firearm” and “fired into the crowd but could not recall how many shots he took.”


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