Video exclusively obtained by NBC 6 shows a wild brawl outside of a restaurant and bar in Hollywood late August.
In the video, a group of men can be seen fighting outside of the Sahara Café located on Harrison Street in Hollywood.
At one point, a man in a blue shirt and his friend in black turn to see chairs flying at them. The fisticuffs continue and one of them goes down. Then, another man appears to start shooting. The camera captures him firing multiple rounds.
“I can’t even explain how that moment was. It’s like seeing my life flash in front of me,” the man in the blue shirt told NBC 6. He asked us not to use his name as investigators are yet to identify the man who is seen opening fire.
“My friend fell on the ground. I didn’t know if he was dead, if he was alive because he wasn’t moving at all. So, in my head, I’m like, I just can’t leave my friend behind because they are going to kill him,” he said. “The next thing I know, as I am trying to help my friend up, this other dude, he just comes shooting at me like this close range like me looking at you right now.”
Fortunately, he wasn’t hit by gunfire but says his arm was injured when the chairs were flying. He says his friend was shot in the lower torso and police told NBC 6 that the man we spoke to rushed him to the hospital. Their attorney provided an image of his wounds.
We don’t know what led to the brawl or what exactly happened before the video. But the man says there were words exchanged inside the establishment.
Witnesses told police security escorted out a man who was “causing a disturbance” and that’s when they saw “a black handgun” in the subject’s hand. Soon after, they heard “several gunshots come from just outside the establishment,” according to the police report.
The report goes on to say the witnesses didn’t know who opened fire and didn’t see any gunshot victims, but their description of the man who was escorted out of the restaurant matches the man who is seen shooting in the video obtained by NBC 6.
The men who were injured attorney Nixon Laroche.
“It’s unimaginable to go out to have a good night, to return home—to be shot—to be shot at—to almost have died. It’s unfathomable,” Laroche told NBC 6 at his Miramar office.
Laroche says the nightspot, which attracts crowds on the nights it promotes on social media, should have been prepared to stop trouble.
“I was just taken back to know—to see the security guard who was there to protect not only my clients but everyone at the club just to sit back and to watch everything unfold. It was my understanding that there was armed security there on the day in question and they did nothing. The video is a telltale sign on how inadequate the security was,” Laroche said.
NBC 6 spoke to the operator of the Sahara Cafe, Lorenzo Moronta. He told NBC 6 the violence happened as his employees were closing for the night and it happened outside of his business. He denied his security team had any responsibility for the injuries the men allegedly sustained.
Moronta went on to say he had one security guard on duty that was not armed and that other security was provided by the promoter. He told us he did not know if the security detail the promoter provided was armed.
The man we spoke to says he feels fortunate that he wasn’t hurt or killed.
“It’s beyond a blessing to be alive,” he told us.
Hollywood Police told NBC 6 they recovered six shell casings from the scene, and one round went into a car that fortunately didn’t have anyone in it.
According to the police report, there are other videos showing security escorting different people outside of the establishment but witnesses wouldn’t share them with police.
Officers on the scene wrote many of the witnesses were “extremely uncooperative” in terms of providing information about what happened.
If you know or have any information about the person shooting in the video, call Crimestoppers in Broward at 954-493-TIPS or Hollywood Police at 954-764-4357.