Eight people were shot during a family-friendly Martin Luther King Day event in Florida on Monday evening, leaving one person critically injured.
Soon after 5 p.m., gunfire erupted, causing a chaotic frenzy that injured four others and allowed the shooter to flee. They were still on the loose on Monday night, and it is unknown if more than one person was fired.
The car show was held in a park in Fort Pierce and was attended by over 1,000 people of all ages, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. All eight people who were shot were adults.
The incident occurred at Ilous Ellis Park, near Avenue M and 13th Street, at 5.20 p.m. and was sparked by a disagreement, according to the sheriff’s office.
Four people were injured as panicked paradegoers attempted to flee after the shots rang out, including one child.
Video shows panicked crowds of adults and children running between parked cars and trucks in the aftermath of the shooting.
One man is even seen holding a black pistol as he scans the parking lot and hides partially behind a pick-up truck.
Another man was seen lying on the ground, surrounded by people offering him assistance and apparently attempting to locate his wound by removing his shirt.
‘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 told News4JAX.
‘It was mass chaos, as you can imagine, when shots rang out,’ he said. ‘There were a thousand plus people here at the event, and as the shots rang out, people were just running in all directions.’
As people scattered in various directions, some were seen hiding behind car doors, and a woman ran in panic with a baby in her arms.
The sheriff’s office stated that two deputies were already on-site and ready to assist victims in need of medical attention.
‘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,’ Hester said.
‘And then there were so many innocent people who were injured or hurt but were not a part of the disagreement.’
The Sheriff’s office said it had multiple leads. Dozens of deputies in the area were working to find a shooter or shooters.