Mass Shooting During Large MLK Day Party Leaves 1 Dead, 7 Others Injured

Photo: Getty Images

A mass shooting broke out during a Florida block party that over 1,000 people attended to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

According to CNN, one person was killed and seven others were injured during the shooting in Fort Pierce, Florida on Monday (January 16)

All eight victims were adults who were ferried to the hospital for medical treatment following the shooting. The one person who was killed died on Tuesday (January 17) morning, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement.

“She’s a 30-year-old Fort Pierce native who was at the party with her six-year-old daughter,” Mascara said.

According to the sheriff's office, at least four others were injured as people rushed to flee Illous Ellis Park, where the MLK celebration was held.

“As the shots rang out, people were just running in all directions,” Brian Hester, the sheriff’s office chief deputy, said. “There were people laying behind cars, laying behind anything they could lay behind. It was kind of hard to tell who was a victim and who was just hiding at that point.”

Shots rang starting around 5 p.m. on Monday as the community gathered for a car show, dance performances, live DJ, and kids activities in commemoration of King. Video shows partygoers dancing by their cars when gunfire overtook the music.

Two sheriff’s deputies stationed in the park ran toward the scene and provided aid to those injured alongside bystanders, Hester said.

The sheriff’s office hasn't named any suspects in the shooting, but preliminary investigation suggests there were multiple shooters.

On Tuesday, Mascara said the case was being investigated as a murder. It seems gunfire may have stemmed from “a disagreement of some sort between two parties,” Hester said.

“It’s really unfortunate and it’s sad that during a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality, a disagreement results in a use of guns and violence,” Hester said.

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