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8 people shot, 1 critically, at Ilous Ellis Park in Fort Pierce

Shooting occurs after car show on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office command unit at Ilous Ellis Park in Fort Pierce after mass shooting, Jan. 16, 2023
Posted at 7:36 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 10:53:51-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Eight people were wounded, including one critically, in a shooting that occurred during a car show at Ilous Ellis Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said Monday night.

Four additional people were injured while fleeing the scene at the park near Avenue M and 13th Street, the agency said in a Facebook post.

A "Streets on Lock" Car & Bike Show was scheduled at the park from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with music, children's activities, and vendors. Deputies said more than 1,000 people were at the event.

"There was a disagreement of some sort between two parties and, unfortunately, they chose to resolve that with guns," Chief Deputy Brian Hester told reporters.

Hester called the aftermath of the shooting "mass chaos."

WATCH: Chief deputy describes 'mass chaos' after park shooting

St. Lucie County Chief Deputy Brian Hester describes 'mass chaos' after shooting at Fort Pierce park

"There were people laying behind cars, laying behind anything they could lay behind," Hester said. "It was kind of hard to tell who was the victim and who was just hiding at that point."

Hester said deputies treated several people at the park, while others were driven to a nearby hospital by fellow attendees.

The chief deputy added there were no suspects, although deputies are pursuing several leads and information from witnesses.

At least one victim's injuries required surgery, and WPTV is told that several people drove some of the victims to the hospital after the gunfire went off.

Calvin Bethel said his sister was shot right in front of her 6-year-old daughter.

"I'm hoping my sister gets better, and I'm hoping that the conversation I'm going to have with my niece after this is going to be impactful. Because I just don't have the words for it," Bethel said. "There is nothing you tell a 6-year-old about her mom getting shot right in front of her. There's not a word you can use for that."

Bethel said his sister had to undergo surgery.

A calendar listing said security was provided by the sheriff's office.

The agency posted the alert on Facebook before 7 p.m.