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Eight people injured at MLK event shooting in Florida

The shooting seems to have been caused by some kind of disagreement between individuals at the event

January 16, 2023 11:11pm

Updated: January 17, 2023 11:30am

At least eight people were shot at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event at a Florida park on Monday, authorities said. 

Gunshots were fired as thousands of people gathered for the MLK Car Show and Family Fun Day at Ilous Ellis Park in Fort Pierce at around 5:10 p.m., according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. 

The shooting seems to have been caused by some kind of disagreement between individuals at the event, the sheriff’s office added. 

Eight individuals were injured, at least one of them critically, authorities said. All of the gunshot victims were adults. 

Four others, including a minor, were injured by the stampede caused by people running away from the gunshots. Their injuries are not life-threatening. 

"The first two shots were, ‘Bang. Bang,'" said Charlie Frank Matthew, a witness told local ABC-affiliate station WPBF 25 News. "I witnessed two people get shot."

"It was mass chaos as you can imagine when shots rang out with, there were a thousand plus people here at the event, and as the shots rang out, people were just running in all directions,” said St. Lucie County chief deputy Brian Hester.

The sheriff’s office said that two deputies were at the event and were able to immediately respond to the gunfire. 

"Multiple people were shot, it sounds like from our initial investigation here on the scene there was a disagreement of some sort between two parties, and unfortunately, they chose to resolve that with guns,” Hester added. "It's really sad in a celebration of someone who represented peace and equality that a disagreement results in the use of guns and violence to solve that disagreement, and that’s what’s really sad to me about what happened here. And then so many innocent people who were injured or hurt and were not part of the disagreement as well."

Police are investigating the incident. No arrests have been made at this time. 

This is a developing story.