AP

Woman dies after shooting at MLK Day party in Florida

Jan 16, 2023, 7:10 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2023, 9:24 am

MIAMI (AP) — A 30-year-old woman has died following a shooting that broke out between rival gang members during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Florida, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was attending a party with her 6-year-old daughter Monday evening following the MLK Day parade in Fort Pierce, Florida, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said during a news conference.

“Within that park, at the conclusion of the party, shots were fired and eight people were shot, and four others were injured as they attempted to flee that chaotic scene,” the sheriff said.

No arrests have been made as of Tuesday morning, but Chief Deputy Brian Hester said detectives are working around the clock.

“Evidence supports this shooting was a dispute between two rival Fort Pierce gangs,” Hester said.

He added that investigators found over 50 shell casings from three calibers of weapons at the scene.

“Let me be very clear. If you are thinking of, or hiding, supporting, protecting or aiding any suspect, anyone involved in the heinous incident, then I can assure you you we will arrest you, and we will charge you to the fullest extent of the law.”

Hester said the agency is working with local, state and federal agencies. They’ve set up a hotline for any tips from witnesses.

“Yesterday was MLK Day, a legacy built on nonviolence, and sadly we experienced violence in our community,” the sheriff said, adding that the agency sends its “heartfelt” condolences to the woman’s family and the community.

Fort Pierce is 68 miles (109 kilometers) north of West Palm Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

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