Gifford shooting: One dead, one injured

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — One person was killed and another seriously wounded during a shooting Friday afternoon at a home in Gifford, the Indian River County Sheriff's Office said.

The shooting happened about 4:40 p.m. in the 4500 block of 33rd Avenue. Both of the people wounded were driven to Indian River Medical Center in private vehicles, Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Thom Raulen said. One of them, a 38-year-old St. Lucie County man, was pronounced dead at the hospital, Raulen said.

A 27-year-old Vero Beach resident suffered a gunshot wound to the groin and was flown to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce. He was in critical condition, Raulen said.

Witnesses told detectives the two were in an argument earlier Friday, possibly concerning two women, Raulen said. The St. Lucie man went to the Gifford home to confront the younger man, the Sheriff's Office said.

The names of the men were not released. As of 7 p.m., the Sheriff's Office had not verified if they were looking for suspects or people of interest in the crime.

Owen Bryant, 56, has lived on the block for several years and was in his bathroom when he heard the shots fired next door.

"I wasn't going to go outside" to see what was happening, Bryant said. "I didn't want to get shot."

Bryant said he could hear several people at the home after the gunfire, but didn't see any of them. Other neighbors made calls to 911.

Dozens of residents sat on their porches and parked along 33rd Avenue as Sheriff's deputies and detectives walked through the scene. Crime scene unit investigators walked the grounds around the home while several dogs chained in the backyard barked. Yellow tape was used to cordon off the home, and investigators placed orange cones at various points.

Friday's shooting was in the same block where several incidents of violence last spring prompted community leaders and members to speak out.

Several people were wounded by gunfire at an Easter weekend block party outside Smith Plaza Grocery at the corner of 45th Street and 33rd Avenue. The empty lot where that party happened is in eyesight of the home where Friday's homicide occurred.

Investigators did not say whether they could make any connections between Friday's shooting and those that happened earlier this year.


Anyone with information about this crime can call either Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-TIPS (8477) or leave the tip on the Crime Stoppers web site,

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