At least eight people were shot in Southeastern Florida on Monday during a celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. day. According to authorities, 1,000 people were attending the massive block party with live music and a car show at Ilous Ellis Park when several gunshots rang out at approximately 5:20 p.m. This was just hours after an MLK Day Parade had ended, according to the St Louis County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was mass chaos,” Chief Deputy Brian Hester told reporters.“People were running in all different directions.” One of the eight gunshot victims, all adults, was hospitalized and is in critical condition. Other individuals, including a child, were injured as they were running for safety, according to a press release from the Sherrif’s Office.
“There were people laying behind cars, laying behind anything they could lay behind,” Hester stated. “It was kind of hard to tell who was a victim and who was just hiding at that point.” Detectives believe the shooting was a result of an argument between two parties in the park. According to authorities, evidence suggests that there were two different areas where the gunshots were fired and more than one shooter.
At Least 8 Shots Fired During MLK Day Celebration
“Sounds like, from our initial investigation here on scene, there was a disagreement of some sort between two parties and, unfortunately, they chose to resolve that with guns,” Hester said. “It’s really unfortunate and it’s sad that during a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality that a disagreement results in a use of guns and violence.”
Detectives are still interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence, but no arrests have been made and no suspects have been named. “We’re following up on several leads,” Hester continued. “We’ve got some tips from the community.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office at 772-462-7300 or contact Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-273-8477.