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Woman dies in shooting at Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Fort Pierce, Florida

The person who was critically injured during a mass shooting that left 11 others wounded in Fort Pierce on Monday has died.



Chief Deputy Brian Hester provided an update at a press conference this morning on the shooting incident that occurred on Monday afternoon at Ilous Ellis Park in Fort Pierce that left one person dead, seven shot, and four others injured.

According to Chief Deputy Brian Hester, detectives have identified the deceased victim as 29-year-old Nikkitia Bryant of Fort Pierce.

“Out of the other 7 victims who were shot, two remain in the hospital, and they’re in stable condition,” said Chief Deputy Brian Hester. “The others have all been released.”

According to Chief Deputy Brian Hester, detectives initially believed that the shooting was the result of a dispute between two rival gangs; however, they no longer believe this is the case. Detectives now believe that the dispute may have also involved individuals who are not affiliated with any gangs.

Detectives have identified 27-year-old Frederick Lamar Johnson, Jr. as a person of interest. Johnson is wanted on a felony warrant for violation of probation, which stemmed from drug-related charges. According to Chief Deputy Brian Hester, detectives believe Johnson was present during the incident, and he is wanted for questioning.

We ask anyone who was present at the event, whether they witnessed the incident or not, to contact detectives at 772-462-3230.

Sheriff’s officials in Florida announced on Tuesday that a lady, age 30, had passed away as a result of a shooting that took place between members of competing gangs at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara stated in a news conference that the woman, whose name has not been disclosed, was at a party with her 6-year-old daughter.

“Within that park, as the celebration came to a close, bullets were fired, and eight individuals were shot, and four others were injured as they attempted to leave from that chaotic scene,” the sheriff said. “The park was filled with people trying to get away from the mayhem.”

As of Tuesday morning, no one had been arrested, but Chief Deputy Brian Hester said that detectives are constantly on the case.

“There is evidence that this shooting happened because of a fight between two rival gangs in Fort Pierce,” Hester said.

He also said that investigators found more than 50 empty shells from guns of three different sizes 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 that the agency works with agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. They have set up a hotline for witnesses to call with any information.

“Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, whose legacy is based on nonviolence, but violence happened in our community,” the sheriff said, adding that the agency sends its “heartfelt” condolences to the woman’s family and the community.

The City of Fort Pierce extends its thoughts and prayers to the families that were impacted by the shooting incident which took place during an event at Lincoln Park Regional Park at 1306 Avenue M on Monday afternoon. Tragically, this incident occurred on a day when our community gathered to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who dedicated his life to peacefully advancing human rights and equality.

The Fort Pierce Police Department, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, and St. Lucie County Fire District responded immediately by securing the site and providing assistance to the injured. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation and the City of Fort Pierce Police Department shall continue to assist our partners at the Sheriff’s Office in any way possible to help bring closure to this unfortunate situation.

If you have any information related to this incident, please contact detectives or call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477.

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