A shooting at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event left eight people wounded on Monday evening in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.
The shooting broke out around 5:20 p.m. near Ilous Ellis Park following a “disagreement of some sort” between two groups of people, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
An “MLK Car Show & Family Fun Day” was being held at that park from noon to 6 p.m., according to the City of Fort Pierce.
One of the gunshot victims is in critical condition, according to the sheriff’s office. Four people were also injured as they were fleeing the scene.
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“It was mass chaos, as you can imagine, when shots rang out. There were 1,000-plus people here at the event,” Chief Deputy Brian Hester said at a press conference. “And as the shots rang out, people were just running in all directions.”
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Videos posted on social media showed large crowds enjoying the event before multiple gunshots rang out in the distance, sending people scrambling behind cars.
“There were people laying behind cars laying behind anything they could lay behind,” Hester said. “It’s kind of hard to tell who was a victim and who was just hiding at that point as our deputies did start to render aid to multiple people. There were people in the crowd that were rendering aid as well. And then there were some people that were loading people up in cars and taking them to the hospital as well.”
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There is no suspect in custody at this time, but Hester said the sheriff’s office is following several leads after receiving tips from the community, and detectives are investigating the scene for potential evidence.
Hester said he believes there were likely multiple gunmen.