PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla.
- A house party that dissolved into a hail of gunfire and left seven young people hurt Saturday has officials on the Florida Panhandle pondering what to do with a spring-break season they say has gotten out of control.
The raucous parties in the spring-break capital of Panama City Beach have had politicians, police and businesses tussling for years over how much to crack down on a key economic force.
"This is what we've been trying to warn people about," said Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen. "It was only a matter of time, and it's only a matter of time until it happens again if we don't address it."
The city council held an emergency meeting Saturday to address spring break, allocating up to $200,000 in additional spending for increased police patrols. Motions introduced by Councilman Keith Curry to ban alcohol on the beach and to roll back the last call on alcohol sales to midnight were unsuccessful.
David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Ala., has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder in the shooting and remained at the Bay County Jail. Bail was set yesterday at $575,000, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said.
A .40-caliber handgun believed to have been used by Daniels was found in the yard of a nearby home. Officials gave no update yesterday on the condition of the victims, three of whom were listed as critical a day earlier.