The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting happened at Illus Ellis Park in Fort Pierce around 5:20 p.m. local time during the MLK Car Show and Family Fun Day, which was attended by more than 1,000 people.
The shooting began after what officials described as “some sort of disagreement between two parties.”
“Several people were shot, it appears from our initial investigation here at the scene that there was some disagreement between two parties and unfortunately they decided to settle it with a gun,” said St. Lucie County Deputy Brian Hester .
“It was mass chaos as you can imagine when the shots rang out. There were more than a thousand people at the event, and when the shots rang out, people ran in all directions.”
Terrible footage received WPBF-TV, recorded people ducking, running and hiding behind cars as shots rang out.
The video shows several children and families at the scene, including a woman running to safety with her child.
Eight people received gunshot wounds, all adults. One victim remains in critical condition, while the condition of the other seven is unknown.
Their identities have not been disclosed.
It is also unclear whether the two groups knew each other before the shooting and what caused the disagreement.
In addition to the eight killed, police said four others, including a child, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the ensuing confusion, a local station reported.
The sheriff’s office said two deputies immediately responded and treated the victims.
“It’s really sad for a man who represented peace and equality that disagreements lead to the use of guns and violence to resolve those differences, and that’s what’s really sad to me about what happened here,” Mr. Hester said. .
“And then there are so many innocent people who have been hurt or injured and were not involved in the altercation either.”
AP contributed to this report