Fort Pierce shooting at MLK Day event

On Monday, January 16, 2023, a shooting at an MLK Day event in Fort Pierce, Florida left 8 people injured. According to CNN, the incident stemmed from an altercation between several people during a car and bike show at Fort Pierce’s Ilous Ellis Park. The event, which had over 1,000 attendees, descended into chaos after gunshots were heard at approximately 5:20 p.m. m.

According to the St Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, eight adults were transported to local hospitals after the shooting, including one victim in critical condition. Fort Pierce authorities stated that four other people were injured when bystanders tried to leave the scene.

Passers-by rushed to help victims of the Fort Pierce shooting

According to NBC Miami, the Fort Pierce shooting stemmed from a discussion between two groups of people. It is believed that more than one shooter was involved in the incident.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Brian Hester summarized the shooting in an official statement. hester said:

“It is really unfortunate and sad that during a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality, a disagreement would result in the use of weapons and violence.”

He continued:

“When the shots rang out, people were running in all directions. As our deputies arrived and entered the scene…it was mass chaos there. There were people lying behind cars, lying behind anything they could lie behind. It was a bit difficult to tell who was a victim and who was hiding at the time.”

Hester added that as the victims lay on the ground, many bystanders tried to help them by providing basic aid. He also said that two sheriff’s deputies were at the scene, trying to help the victims and pacify the situation.

hester said:

“It is really unfortunate and sad that during a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality, a disagreement would result in the use of weapons and violence.”

The identities of the possible suspects have not been released by authorities.

Violent crime in St. Lucie County

According to TC Palm, although crime has decreased in St. Lucie County in recent years, Fort Pierce remains one of the most violent cities in the region.

In 2020, Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc acknowledged that while overall crime in the county had declined, violent crime appeared to be on the rise.

boldu said:

“What is worrying in recent years is that violent crime is increasing.”

However, authorities stated that community engagement initiatives have meant that, despite the rate of violent crime, authorities have managed to close several cases.

Sergeant Sam Cooper told TC Palm reporters:

“I think we’re doing a good job investigating the crimes that we’re getting, especially violent crimes.”

The shooting in Fort Pierce is currently under investigation.

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