For most people, a Florida crab festival brings to mind a mellow time with ample beverages to wash down the abundance of crustacean culinary delights.
But one Florida crab fest was anything but after five people were shot, including one man who later died.
And as the Sun-Sentinel reports, shooting or not, the event isn’t even remotely connected to anything resembling a traditional crab festival.
Instead, the city of Williston’s Crab Fest is actually a series of unofficially organized street parties that brought in an estimated 10,000 revelers this year.
If it weren’t for the violence, that would be an impressive statistic, especially considering the event has no corporate or government advertising and is instead promoted primarily through social media circles and word of mouth.
But the Levy County sheriff's office says the event has been plagued by violence for years. So this time, authorities tried to be prepared.
“The Levy County Department of Public Safety had pre-staged ambulances and a Medical helicopter in the area for the Festival. The large crowds made it impossible for ambulances to reach the wounded,” reads a press release from the sheriff’s office. “Despite the large crowds walking and dancing in the roadway, Deputies and EMS personnel were able to evacuate the victims in law enforcement and private vehicles.”
The police even put out a press release in advance of the event, warning people of increased traffic and wishing attendees a good time.
The police have since arrested Devonte Tremaine Ocasi, 19, in connection with the shootings. WCJB ABC News-20 reports that Ocasi has been charged with attempted first degree murder, discharge of firearm with injury, aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm. He’s currently being held on a $1.5 million bond.
Police are still investigating the possibility of a second shooter involved in the incident.