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Man killed in officer-involved shooting; 2 others found dead in nearby homes

Shooting happened in the area of North 25th Street and Avenue P
Posted at 1:30 PM, May 18, 2024

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Authorities were investigating an officer-involved shooting in Fort Pierce that left a man dead.

Fort Pierce police said officers received a call Saturday about a man who had been shot near North 24th Street and Avenue O.

"The officers arrived on scene. They started taking care of that particular incident when they encountered shots being fired," Maj. Mike Santiago said.

Santiago said several officers followed the sounds of gunshots and came across Bernard Smith, 28, in the 1600 block of North 25th Street.

That situation ended with an officer-involved shooting in which Smith was killed.

Police and residents gather near officer-involved shooting that killed Bernard Smith, May 18, 2024
Police and residents gather near the scene of an officer-involved shooting that left 28-year-old Bernard Smith dead.

While checking the area, investigators found two dead bodies in separate homes near North 24th Street and Avenue P.  

"What we're looking at right now is four victims, three of which have since passed away," Santiago said.

A man who only identified himself as John lives on 24th Street. He said it sounded like a gun range in his neighborhood.

"We hear four shots first and then, next thing you know, there's a boy come running by here, guy come running by here, and then you hear four more shots, like the police (are) chasing," John said. "I don't know who's doing the shooting – he or the police."

One of the victims happens to be John's neighbor across the street from him.

"Got one brother up north and he just lost his mother about 3 years ago," John said. "He stayed by himself, doing good. (He had) a bright future ahead of him."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating the officer-involved shooting. The Fort Pierce Police Department was investigating the other deaths.

Police were trying to determine a motive and if the crimes were connected.