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Police: 8 people shot at Florida MLK Day event

The shooting occurred at a park in Fort Pierce during an MLK Day celebration with more than 1,000 people in attendance, the sheriff's office said.
Posted at 12:21 PM, Jan 17, 2023

Police in Florida said eight people were shot during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, with one of the victims listed in critical condition.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office confirmed all the victims in the Monday shooting in Fort Pierce were adults, WPBF-TV reported.

The shooting occurred at Ilous Ellis Park at 5:20 p.m. during an MLK Car Show and Family Fun Day, which the sheriff's office said was attended by more than 1,000 people, the TV station reported.


“Multiple people were shot, it 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,” St. Lucie County Chief Deputy Brian Hester said.

Police said four people including a child sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the ensuing confusion, the station reported.

“It was mass chaos, as you can imagine, when shots rang out," Hester said. “There were a thousand plus people here at the event, and as the shots rang out, people were just running in all directions."

The sheriff’s office said two deputies at the event responded immediately and aided victims, WPBF-TV reported.

MLK Jr.'s family reflects on his legacy, goals for our nation

MLK Jr.'s family reflects on his legacy, goals for our nation

In Washington Monday, members of the King Family recalled their father's goals to eradicate the "three evils": poverty, racism, and violence.


Video obtained by the station showed people ducking, running and hiding behind cars, including a woman running to safety while holding a baby.

“It’s really sad in a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality that a disagreement results in a use of guns and violence to solve that disagreement, and that’s what’s really sad to me about what happened here," Hester said. "And then so many innocent people who were injured or hurt and were not part of the disagreement as well.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.