2 critically injured, 8 others shot after drive-by shooting in Lakeland, police say

Lakeland police are investigating a shooting incident with multiple injuries. (WFTS)

LAKELAND, Fla. – Two people are in critical condition and many others were shot after a drive-by shooting in Lakeland Monday afternoon, according to the Lakeland Police Department.

Chief of Police Sam Taylor said in a news conference that police responded to a shooting near Iowa Avenue North and Plum Street shortly before 4 p.m. According to video captured on a Ring camera, a dark-blue Nissan car with tinted windows and a temporary tag drove up to a group of men -- ranging from age 20 to 35 years old -- who were sitting outside.

According to Taylor, the car slowed down as it approached the men, then all four windows rolled down and shots were fired toward the men who were sitting on both sides of the street.

Police believe that there were four shooters in the car, Taylor said. The shooters sped off and left the area.

One man was shot in the stomach and another was shot in the face. Both men were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The other eight men suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Taylor.

Taylor said they believe this is a targeted shooting and that there is no threat to the community since it was an intentional act.

Police found marijuana at the scene, which Taylor said, indicated that there were narcotic sales at the time of the shooting.

It’s unclear if the people struck by the gunfire also fired back at the shooters. It’s also unclear if all people shot were targeted or if some were caught in the crossfire.

Police are investigating and searching for the shooters.

“This is something that doesn’t happen in Lakeland. I’ve been here nearly 35 years, and I can tell you I have never worked an event that this many people have been shot at one time. Ever. It actually saddened me,” Taylor said.