‘It Hits Home’: Friend of Clevelander Hotel Employee Killed in Lobby Speaks Out

On the heels of a Clevelander Hotel employee being shot and killed in the lobby early Friday morning, Miami Beach Police are beefing up security and patrols this Fourth of July weekend.

The Clevelander Hotel Nightclub was closed Friday night, and NBC 6 cameras spotted multiple Miami Beach cruisers parked in front of the business. 

Eric Jackson says the victim was his childhood friend, 50-year-old Dion Moore.

“It hurts when it hits home,” Jackson said. “It happens, you hear about it all the time, but it hit home tonight.”

Courtesy

Dion Moore

Jackson says he went to high school with Moore, and Moore’s twin brother, in Gainesville, FL.

“Super smart! What really caught my attention, them boys were always trying to invent stuff. Dion was always a pioneer,” Jackson said.

The suspect, Brandon Burris, allegedly tried to sneak into the hotel nightclub several times through the lobby, before Moore asked him to leave.

Investigators say after an argument, Burris tried to punch Moore, who was trying to walk away.

That’s when police say Burris pulled out his gun and started shooting.

“I know Dion is not the one to bring that kind of anger to nobody, to get himself involved in that kind of confrontation to that level,” Jackson said.

The Clevelander issued a statement after the deadly encounter. 

“We are devastated about the tragedy that occurred in the lobby of the Clevelander Hotel at approximately midnight on Thursday evening. One of our valued employees needlessly lost his life,” said the Clevelander Hotel in a partial statement.

“Love each other in the now,” Jackson said. “There’s just so much out of our control. Just do the best you can before you leave.”