OAKWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) — Days after police make more arrests in a shooting at a busy Florida beach, a Miami Valley couple is giving a first-hand account of what happened as they watched it all unfold.
The Wightmans, who live in Oakwood, were on vacation in Hollywood Beach when shots were fired and nine people were hurt.
Adam, his pregnant wife Mechelle, and their two children were visiting his sister in Hollywood, Florida, over the Memorial Day weekend. As their 2- and 7-year-olds were digging sandcastles on the beach, gunfire erupted following a fight.
“You go to the beach. You don’t think there’s going to be a mass shooting,” says Mechelle. “I heard gunfire. I heard it go off, and I didn’t quite understand what was happening right away. And then, I started seeing people scoop up their children and just start running into the water because there’s nowhere else to go.”
While people ran from the danger, Adam ran towards it. Noticing two women in the sand who’d been shot, his attention quickly turned to someone else.
“Not far away from them, there was this kid laying in the sand,” describes Adam. “He’s looking up at me with two hands on his chest. And like he pulled his hands down slightly, and I heard the lady next to me scream, and there’s just like blood pooling.”
Adam flagged down an officer. Other beach-goers acted as first responders for the nine people shot before crews arrived.
The Wightmans and their children grabbed their stuff and got to safety.
Back from vacation now, the Wightmans still have trouble processing what happened.
“There’s been a couple times since then, where you hear something that sounds like gunfire, it triggers that physiological effect. It’s hard to shake,” says Adam.
“I feel like my sense of safety is kind of taken away from me. As a parent you want to feel like you can protect your kids in any situation,” says Mechelle.
Five suspects — some of them teens — have been arrested for the shooting. They are facing charges from attempted murder to weapons charges.