8 People Were Shot At A Crowded MLK Day Block Party In Fort Pierce, Florida

At a Martin Luther King Jr. Day block party in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Monday, more than 1,000 people attended and eight individuals were shot, according to authorities.

According to Chief Deputy Brian Hester of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, all eight of those shot were adults who were taken to the hospital for treatment, one of whom was in severe condition.

People “were simply scattering in all directions when the guns rang out,” Hester recalled. “There were individuals sprawled under vehicles of all shapes and sizes. At that time, it was difficult to discern who was a victim and who was merely concealing.

He claimed that the shooting started at around 5:20 p.m. in Ilous Ellis Park, where the neighborhood had congregated for an afternoon car display, dance performances, a live DJ, and kid-friendly events to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

A witness recorded the event, showing guests dancing by their cars and enjoying the music until what appears to be gunfire started to reverberate over the tune. The throng begins to move quickly away from the commotion, with some hiding behind cars or snatching kids’ hands and rushing across the street.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the incident represents the 30th large-scale shooting in the nation this year. The organization defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more persons are shot, excluding the shooter. This definition is similar to CNN’s. The US has had an average of two mass shootings per day so far this year.

Two sheriff’s deputies who were posted at the park rushed to the incident and helped the injured, according to Hester. He claimed that several witnesses also provided first aid and provided transportation to the hospital.

The sheriff’s office has not named any suspects in the shooting, but on Monday night, detectives were pursuing a number of tips from witnesses and locals.

According to initial findings, there were numerous shooters involved in the gunfire, which Hester described as the result of “a conflict of some sort between two parties.”

“So many innocent persons who were killed or injured were not involved in the argument,” he continued.

Hester said: “It’s incredibly awful and sad that during a celebration of someone who stood for peace and equality, a disagreement leads to the use of guns and violence.”

As many, while 40 deputies, in his estimation, were working the case Monday night as they assessed the scene, visited with the victims at the hospital, and pursued leads.

Investigators are requesting that anyone with knowledge about the shooting get in touch with the police or provide an anonymous tip through CrimeStoppers. The matter is being handled by the sheriff’s office since Ilous Ellis Park is a St. Lucie County park.

An hour’s drive north of West Palm Beach is the coastal community of Fort Pierce.

Read Next: 

About The Author

Scroll to Top