Gun violence plagues Gifford, four shooting incidents occurred over five days in Indian River County

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - Four people were wounded in four separate shooting incidents over a five-day period in Indian River County.

On Friday, 36-year-old Terrance Prater walked into the Indian River Medical Center Emergency Room at 1:30 a.m. with a gun shot wound to his leg.

Prater told detectives that he was parked along 49th Street when a black male suspect drove up and shot him for no reason. Prater eventually admitted to detectives that he accidentally shot himself.

Detectives located Prater's Glock 17 located in the bushes next to his vehicle parked at his mother's home. One spent shell casing was located inside the vehicle.

Prater is a convicted felon who cannot lawfully possess a firearm. A warrant for Prater is pending.

"Certainly, another situation where a person who has a gun should not have a gun," said Major Eric Flowers.

On Friday evening, detectives say 39-year-old Eric Roberts brandished a knife and threatened people at Guy Colley's convenience store. A man at the store fired a shotgun at Roberts and injured him. The Indian River County Sheriff's Office (IRCSO) says no charges are pending against Roberts or the man who says he shot him in self defense.

This was the only shooting scene in the last five days where someone called 911.

On Monday, a man was shot after giving a ride to a man. 25-year-old Emmanuel Relford says he gave the unknown black male a ride to Smith's Grocery Store and upon arrival, the two argued about money for the ride.  Relford says that's when the man pulled out a handgun. As they struggled, the weapon discharged and struck Relford in the hand.

No one called 911. "If you've been shot or you've been hurt, you'd think that you'd call the police immediately," Flowers said. 

IRCSO says early in the morning on Tuesday, deputies reported hearing gunfire south of 45th Street. They were unsuccessful in locating a crime scene at that time. About 30 minutes later, a 17-year-old boy arrived at the Sebastian Emergency Room claiming he was shot while walking in Gifford.

The juvenile told deputies he was walking in the 3000 block of 43rd Street with friends when a vehicle drove by and fired two rounds, one of which struck him in the abdomen.

Deputies also located more than ten bullet holes in the residence at 4242 31st Ave. IRCSO says three of the four sides of the residence had bullet holes in it.

To be sure that everyone inside the residence was safe, deputies knocked loudly at the front door for several minutes before waking a resident, who eventually admitted to hearing the gunfire that struck the home.

That resident, who did not want to be identified, said he was on the phone with a friend when the shooting began. "He was screaming are you okay? Are you OK?" Even with his phone in hand, he also did not call 911.

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, "The disturbing part about last night's gunfire, and so many other incidents we see, is that no one called 911. Three of the four shooting incidents originated from Emergency Room staff calling us to report gunshot victims. Fortunately, no one was killed in any of these incidents. This continued gun violence must end before another life is lost."

Flowers says the gun violence in Gifford is on the rise, despite efforts from the sheriff's office to curb it. "Even with those extra deputies on the road, we still continue to see this violence. That's probably one of the most frustrating parts."

If you have information on any shooting, please contact the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 or visit the website at tcwatch.org.

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