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Man fires gun in Miami hotel because people weren't social distancing, police say

Miami Herald logo Miami Herald 7/30/2020 By C. Isaiah Smalls II, Miami Herald
a man looking at the camera: Douglas Marks. © Miami-Dade County Corrections an/TNS/TNS Douglas Marks.

MIAMI — A South Florida man fired a gun at a Miami Beach hotel after police say he became enraged over a mother and son’s lack of social distancing.

Douglas Marks, 29, was arrested Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, use of a firearm to commit a felony and discharging a firearm in public. Jail records show he’s being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on $11,000 bond.

The incident occurred Monday evening in the lobby of Crystal Beach Suites on Collins Avenue. Marks noticed a woman, later identified as Veronica Pena, sitting on a couch with her son. He approached the two and told them to leave.

“You all aren’t social distancing,” Marks barked, according to the arrest report.

Ignoring him, Pena and her son didn’t move. She then overheard Marks say, “Let me take care of them, I have two people not following directions,” before he grabbed a black firearm and let off several shots, according to Miami Beach police.

No one was injured.

Marks later admitted to the shooting, saying that he did so because someone was following him. He also claimed to have asked the hotel front desk to call 911 before firing “four warning shots,” the report says.


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