As the Hollywood sun set on a somber Sunday, local law enforcement made significant strides in a week-long saga that sent shivers down the spines of Hollywood Beach’s typically tranquil residents.
Ariel Cardahn Paul, one of the alleged architects of the nefarious Memorial Day shooting, finally found himself ensnared in the dragnet of justice. The Hollywood police secured him at the end of a day marked by persistent pursuits, the anticipation of an arrest, and the ticking of the clock, culminating at the symbolic hour of 8 p.m.
The charges levied against Paul echoed in the solemn silence of the city: a solitary count of attempted murder in the first degree, an unnerving eight of attempted murder in the second, and a singular charge of carrying a concealed firearm. His freedom lost, he stood to answer for his alleged role in a crime that had punctured the peace of the beloved beachside community.
Paul’s capture followed hot on the heels of the arrest of Jordan Burton, another protagonist of the beachfront brouhaha, and whose evasion tactics had proven futile against the relentless U.S. Marshals and local detectives. Their Saturday success story was preceded by the earlier nabbing of two youthful characters – Morgan Deslouches of Hollywood and Keshawn Paul Stewart of Dania Beach, just 18 years old, and apprehended near the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.
Yet, the final piece of this disheartening jigsaw, Lionel Jean Charles Jr., remains elusive. Police believe Charles, too, had a hand in the infamous shooting and warn that those aiding him in his flight could face the stern hand of the law. As the Hollywood police warn, every tick of the clock brings them closer to finding and capturing the alleged perpetrators.
While the hunt continues, the victims, too numerous and too young, are slowly nursing their wounds. Of the nine innocent souls caught in the shooting, seven have since tasted the sweet freedom of the hospital exit doors, leaving behind two still locked in a battle for recovery. Among them, a toddler named Amari, a 16-month old boy who should have been taking his first steps, instead nurses a gunshot wound to his foot. His mother, Barbara Engel, implored for peace.
If you have any information about the incident, the Hollywood police and other agencies implore you to step forward. Reach out to Hollywood police at 954-764-4357 or 954-967-4567, Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477, or drop a note to the FBI at fbi.gov/hollywoodbeachmemorialdayshooting.