A 5-year-old boy was shot in the arm and a 20-year-old woman was shot in the back during a ‘Stop the Violence’ event in Florida Saturday around 5:30 p.m., according to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.
Groups of men gathered from Avon Park and Sebring, according to law enforcement, then shots were fired between them, according to ABC.
The anti-violence protesters who gathered for the event ran in every direction to escape the gunshots. While attendees of the event ran in panic, the two were shot, according to the Miami Herald.
When police arrived on the scene, they found three shell casings.
Highlands County deputies mark three shell casings from a shooting this afternoon on S. Carolina St. in Avon Park. pic.twitter.com/Y2STZy7HaW
— Highlands News-Sun (@TheNewsSun) May 14, 2016
The 5-year-old victim was transported to Florida Heartland Hospital for treatment and released.
The 20-year-old woman was transported to a “regional medical center” after being taken initially to Florida Heartland Hospital. She is undergoing further treatment.
As of now, there are no suspects in custody.
Highlands Today reports:
At the time the gunfire erupted, a large number of children and adults were participating in a “Stop the Violence” event that featured a barbecue, raffles, a bicycle rodeo, basketball and other events, the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
The seemingly innocuous event turned violent as gunshots rang out. According to law enforcement, the shooting appears to be part of the decades-long intercity rivalry between Sebring and Avon Park, Sebring News-Sun reports.
Detectives say they are following up on leads in an effort to arrest the parties responsible for the shootings.
Stop the Violence events are a community call to end violence, yet this one did indeed end up in bloodshed. And the worst part is that a child and a woman was shot down where families gathered to protest against exactly what happened at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit and speak to Detective Sergeant Jamie Davidson or Detective Du’Wayne Kelly at 863-402-7200.
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