FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Fort Pierce mayor Linda Hudsoncalled the city safe on Friday.
This comes after Monday's mass shooting at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event that claimed the life of a 29-year-old mother and injured seven others.
Contact 5 looked at the city's crime statistics to check out the mayor's claim.
The most recent numbers show that violent crime is higher in Fort Pierce than in most other Florida cities, but the same numbers show that the overall crime rate has been falling. Some residents said they find that hard to time believe in the wake of Monday's tragedy.
Daserie Glanton works at a convenience store located about a half mile south of the park where the shooting took place.
When she heard that Hudson called the city safe, Glanton said, "I don't think so."
So, who's right?
The 2019 FBI uniform crime statistics show Fort Pierce's crime rate is falling. But when it comes to violent crimes, Fort Pierce's rate is 46% higher than the national and Florida average.
Overall, crime in Fort Pierce is 36% higher than the Florida average and 38% higher than the U.S. average.
"It's like cowboys and Indians out here," Glanton said.
Outside Glanton's store, older men played scratch-off tickets Friday. One person promised to move to a safer part of town if he hits it big.
For Glanton, whose teenage sons survived gunshot wounds in separate incidents, she doesn't see where the crime rate is falling in this part of town.
"I don't know where is safe," Glanton said. "I don't even know where to even search because there's so much going on here in Fort Pierce. It's scary."
Ann Montesano's realty firm is located in downtown Fort Pierce. She calls this area spirited, vibrant and busy where no one worries about their safety.
"If they didn't feel safe here, they wouldn't come here," Montesano said.
It wasn't easy to get an up-to-date look at crime numbers in Fort Pierce, because the city's police department and every other law enforcement agency in Florida did not submit annual statistics to the FBI for its reports.
Still, the last decade of comprehensive reports in this city show overall crime is falling but with higher violent crime rates than most other Florida communities.