One person was killed and five others injured following a shooting at the annual ZombiCon gathering in Florida.
Fort Myers Police Lt., Victor Medico, said Expavious Tyrell Taylor, 20, was killed at the scene. However, no further details regarding Taylor’s death have been released as of yet. Those wounded sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to the hospital, Medico said. The motive for the shooting is yet to be determined. Authorities said the suspect or suspects are still at large.
“There were a lot of witnesses down here, there were a lot of people taking pictures, videos with their cellphone,” Medico said. “Anything that could help with this investigation would be greatly appreciated.” He further said the agency will not be able to make any comments “as we tirelessly investigate this incident and gather as many facts as possible.”
According to USA Today, the shooting instigated at 11:45 p.m., which caused mayhem and panic throughout. People attending the event could be seen running through the streets. The scene was “shoulder to shoulder,” Medico said. It was the second shooting incident downtown this week. The event, in its ninth year, was expected to bring together more than 20,000 people.
Jill Stancel, whose family owns a barbershop, said she heard the gunfire and saw people running from the street. She and her family let several people in their shop and then closed the doors immediately. “I was right here,” she said. “A mass of people ran screaming and trying to get in the shop.” While she does not think that the downtown area is dangerous, she said the incident will be etched in her memory. “There are people dressed up and some walking around with guns,” she said. “How do you know they aren’t real? Any event I come to, this will be in the back of my mind.”
The organizers of the event, Pushing DaiZies, Inc., issued a statement on Facebook, saying they were saddened by “what what happened within the footprint” of the festival. “We take the safety of our patrons very seriously and take precautions in hiring security and police officers,” the statement said. “Our prayers go out to the family members and individuals involved in the incident.”
As reported by Local 10, despite its popularity, several residents and business owners have expressed disapproval of the event. In one of these instances, a restaurant was seen with signs that said that ZombiCon attendees weren’t welcome. “Quarantined. No Zombies allowed,” the signs read.