Altercation Leads to Shooting at a South Florida Walmart

Incident Leaves Customers Scattering, One Victim Killed

Police say an argument escalated to a barrage of bullets being sprayed inside a Walmart near the entrance to the Florida Keys. A fight between two groups of people inside a Walmart in Florida City, Florida erupted in gunfire Wednesday afternoon, leaving one person dead and others injured in an incident that sent shoppers and employees running for safety.

According to reports, the shooting happened as the result of an argument between two groups of three people in the store. It is unclear at this point exactly what sparked the altercation, which led to Homestead resident Nathaniel Baez, 23, being shot and killed. According to witness reports, a barrage of gunshots were fired in the store. Another man who suffered a gunshot wound to his foot was an innocent bystander, and several others suffered minor injuries as a result of the ensuing chaos that erupted in the store.

Dozens of police cars from multiple agencies—Miami-Dade, Homestead, Florida City, and the FBI—flooded the Walmart parking lot following the incident. Thus far, three individuals have been arrested in connection with the shooting, according to police. The suspected gunman, identified as 25-year-old Steve Lestin, has been charged second degree murder and attempted second degree murder. Others charged include 20-year-old Roberto Acevedo and 21-year-old Jimari Hodge, who have been charged with battery. Other individuals in the two groups fled the scene, and police are still searching for additional suspects involved in the altercation. Investigators are reviewing CCTV footage as they look to piece together the cause of the incident and identify who was involved.

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The Florida City Walmart is more than just a local store for area residents. Travelers frequently use the store to purchase groceries and other essentials on their way to the Florida Keys, and foot traffic at the store is often heavy.

Walmart has since responded to the incident in a written statement. “We are deeply saddened by what took place in our Florida City store, and our thoughts are with the victim’s loved ones. The store is closed at this time. We will work closely with local law enforcement through the course of their investigation and will refer further questions to police.”

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