A suspect remained at large after one person was killed and five other people were wounded in a shooting at a zombie-themed event in Fort Meyers, Florida, according to a NBC report. The shooting happened at about 11:44 p.m. Saturday in downtown Fort Myers at a “ZombiCon” event.
“I heard four gunshots and saw the crowd 10 feet in front of me part and everyone turn and start running,” Desere Lee, a student at Florida Gulf State University who was at the event, told NBC News.
“We pray for all involved in this senseless act of violence,”Mayor Randy Hendersonwas quoted by NBC. “With the aid of alert citizens and cameras, we remain confident in capturing and bringing to justice those who have attacked our citizens.”
The organizers of the event, billed as “the largest gathering of zombies and those who love them in the state of Florida,” said they were “deeply saddened” by the violence, according to the NBC article. The annual festival had been expected to draw more than 20,000 fans in costume.
It wasn’t clear whether the shooting involved participants of the event, but organizers said to NBC that it occurred “within the footprint” of ZombiCon.
“We take the safety of our patrons very seriously and take precautions in hiring security and police officers for our annual event,” the organizers, Pushing DaiZies Inc., posted to Facebook. “Our prayers go out to the family members and individuals involved in the incident.”
ZombiCon has been a popular event for nearly a decade, but some residents and business owners haven’t welcomed the crowd of costumed revelers in the street dressed as limping, bloated, degrading corpses, NBC claimed.
One restaurant posted signs warning visitors that ZombiCon participants weren’t welcome, the article stated, and several members of a religious group also picketed the event this weekend.