Julian Butler suspected in March 31 Gifford shooting, warrant issued

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A rivalry between two groups of young adults — one from Fort Pierce and one from Gifford — appears to have sparked a shooting that injured several people in a crowd of 500 the night of March 31 in Gifford, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Thom Raulen.

Investigators can't yet say what the rivalry was about and so far "there is no indication it was gang related," he said.

Only a handful of the crowd was involved, he said. All the others there, he said, where socializing after going to a car show in nearby Gifford Park.

About 8:30 p.m., near the Smith Grocery, gunfire injured three young adults and one teen. Also an infant was injured by broken glass.

On Thursday, sheriff's officials issued a warrant in the case. Julian Butler, 21, possibly of St. Lucie County, is wanted on a list of charges: aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, and discharging a firearm in public, Raulen said.

His driver's license has a Miami address.

Investigators see no connection between that shooting and one about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in which two men, ages 20 and 26, where shot in the leg in front of an apartment in the 4400 block of 34th Court.

Investigators do have an unidentified person of interest who witnesses say might have started the gunfire at 34th Court.

"While this incident occurred in the same area (as the one on March 31), the investigation at this point has not shown a connection," he said. "Location was a coincidence."

However investigators haven't yet ruled out a connection between the March 31 shooting and one on March 30. At 5:50 p.m. March 30, a man was injured by gunfire in a front yard near 34th Court and 45th Street.

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