Cabana Live was not allowed to operate as an event venue, Seminole County Officials say

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — As the investigation progresses, Channel 9 was able to uncover new details about what went wrong at Cabana Live over the weekend.


Early Sunday, just after midnight, ten people were hurt after, according to investigators, a 16-year-old opened fire against the crowd.

Video released by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office shows the moment when the alleged shooter fired at another person, who investigators still have not been able to identify.

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Caught in the crossfire was NFL player Tank Dell, a wide receiver for the Houston Texans. Dell was one of the ten people hurt in the shooting, but according to his family, he was released from the hospital on Sunday.

According to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Cabana Live of Sanford LLC has an active license to operate, but that does not include the use of the space for third-party events.

The business also needed a special permit issued by the county to throw this particular kind of event – which it did not have, according to the sheriff’s office and county officials.

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“If you’re going to have any kind of event or business activity that’s outside the scope of your original development order or the zoning for that particular classification, you are required to have a special event permit,” Seminole County Board of Commissioners Chair Jay Zembower said.

The location is managed by the Port Authority of Sanford, and is rented out to private companies to do business in the area. , including both the maritime and land-based

“We learned that they are also in violation of the lease that they have with the Port Authority to Seminole County Port Authority,” Zembower said. “Their development or permit allows them to operate a restaurant in a bar, not a venue. A venue is a totally different land use. It’s a totally different requirement.”

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Channel 9 visited Cabana Live on Tuesday to ask for comments on the statements from the county, but the owners said they had no comments at the time.

Port Authority of Sanford confirmed the violation of the lease agreement and released the following statement:

The Seminole County Port Authority was established by the Florida Legislature in 1965 to operate the Port of Sanford, including both the maritime and land-based industrial facilities. For decades, a bar/restaurant business has operated without any significant incident at the Seminole County Port Authority. In November of 2022, the marina operator, which is a tenant of the Port Authority, had a new restaurant operator sublease the restaurant, Cabana Live. While that operator obtained all the proper licenses and permits for its bar/restaurant, unbeknownst to the Port Authority, the operator began conducting late-night parties in 2023. In response, the Port Authority issued on April 30, 2024, a default notice to its tenant, the marina operator, as is legally required under the terms of its lease. The marina operator has advised the Port that these late-night events will no longer take placeand that the restaurant/bar will operate as a family-friendly establishment appropriate to a marina operation. The horrible crime that occurred at the Port this past weekend should have never happened, and the Seminole County Port Authority is taking the necessary steps to ensure it never does again.

—  Seminole County Port Authority

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