Police work to make Clearwater Beach safe on holiday weekend

Shootings on Memorial Day "isolated incident"

Lawrence Watt and his friends were on Clearwater Beach when shots rang out on Memorial Day.
 
"I come here all the time, and I've never witnessed anything like that happen before. So it was kind of shock at first [with] just everyone running," Watt said.
 
Three separate scenes. Two people shot. Four arrested.
 
Many visitors captured the chaos with their cellphone cameras.
 
"That stuff doesn't really happen here on the beach. There's like families and stuff, but that day it did," said beachgoer Sean Thompson.
 
"Something like that can happen anyway. It was unfortunate that it happened on Clearwater Beach," said Lt. William Valveri with the Clearwater Police Department.
 
Clearwater Police said this Labor Day it continues to step up presence with two or three times as many officers on patrol.
 
But it said they don't want to get in the way of beachgoers having fun.
 
"You don't see a police officer on every corner, but I can tell you that we are out there and we are very close to anything that can happen on this beach. It's a very, very safe environment," Valveri said.
 
Police said the shootings and many other incidents are tied to alcohol. That's why they said they continue to enforce no drinking on the beach by writing citations and dumping booze.
 
After the shootings, police visited area businesses to assure them the beach was safe. And we found no signs that anyone was scared off.
 
"I don't think it will affect people coming back here. Everyone loves Clearwater Beach. It's the place to come," Watt said.
 
Police said it was a very quiet holiday weekend. And as far as troubles goes, they saw just the usual citations for alcohol. Many tourists we talked to didn't even know the shootings took place.
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