Prior to reopening the remodeled Shooters Waterfront six days ago, new owner Meghan Leckey explained the decision to retain the name of the landmark restaurant this way: "Everyone has a Shooters story."
Add one more.
An off-duty Miami-Dade corrections officer reaching into his pocket for a valet ticket Saturday evening accidentally triggered his concealed handgun, firing a round that sent ricocheting shrapnel into six or more patrons people, according to police.
One of those injured was treated at Broward Health Medical Center and others were treated on the scene, according to Fort Lauderdale Det. DeAnna Greenlaw.
The shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. and drew a large emergency response that included at least six police cars, a fire truck and two ambulances.
The corrections officer had been dining in the bar area near the waterfront, police said, when his gun went off. He immediately called his supervisor and remained at the restaurant where he was interviewed by Miami-Dade internal affairs officers, according to Capt. Frank Sousa. The officer's name was not released Sunday by authorities.
"He did everything he was supposed to do," said Sousa.
Police deemed the shooting accidental, Sousa said.
"This was a very unfortunate situation that we wish did not happen," said Leckey, who was not at the restaurant when the gun went off. "It was quite a shock. This could have been a lot worse than it was."
The restaurant was crowded, and most diners did not recognize the sound they heard as a gunshot, said Shooters spokesman Daniel Grant. "People didn't know what it was," said Grant. "People looked to see if a light blew, or a Champagne cork popped.
"There was not a lot of alarm, no panic."
He said the restaurant continued admitting customers and stayed open until the usual closing time at 1 or 1:30 a.m.
The watering hole known as Shooters Waterfront Cafe first opened at 3033 N.E. 32nd Ave. in 1982 and has long been a popular spot on the Intracoastal Waterway. But the restaurant went into bankruptcy in 2012.
The business was sold in July for $7 million. Leckey spent months remodeling and upgrading the decor. The restaurant features 340 feet of waterfront, three bars and a fire pit, said Grant. It reopened as Shooters Waterfront on Feb. 10.
In earlier published stories, Leckey told the Sun Sentinel that she debated a name change since rebranding was key to revitalizing a business that had not lived up to its potential, she said.
Leckey said she decided to keep the name Shooters because it is so well-known.
"It's an iconic name," Leckey said. "We want to inject life back to the brand."
Now, Leckey said Sunday, she hopes the shooting incident will not slow what had been a rousing beginning. "We have been sold out almost every night," she said. "The response has been amazing, incredible.
"This was an accident that could have happened anywhere."
Staff writer Adam Sacasa contributed to this report