3 people shot during Easter gathering in south Melbourne

By Greg Pallone, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017, 4:07 PM EDT

A search for suspects continued Monday after three people were shot during a huge Easter gathering Sunday in south Melbourne.

  • 3 people shot during Easter gathering in south Melbourne
  • Victims, ages 17, 24, 27, suffered non-life-threatening injuries
  • Call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477) with any information

About 1,000 people were gathered for a fun Easter celebration when shots rang out. Several 911 calls came in from Lipscomb Street Park:

  • Caller: We need some officers! (indiscernible)
  • Dispatcher: We have them on the way. Do you know who was shooting the gun?
  • Caller: No (indiscernible). Oh Jesus, oh Jesus.
  • Dispatcher: You're not shot, correct? What does the man with the gun look like?
  • Caller:  We don't know, ma'am. I'm trying to keep my grandkids covered.
  • Caller: There are people running everywhere. I am inside a house.

People scattered as dozens of Melbourne Police officers rushed to the scene off Monroe Street. Bullet casings covered the ground.

Three people, ages 27, 24 and 17, were shot. They all suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Other 911 callers said the suspects were on dirt bikes, but no one has been able to say what they were wearing or which direction they headed after the shooting.

"It was all mixed together," said James Phillips, who lives a block away from the park and was outside on his porch when the shots were fired. "It wasn't just like a gunshot. It was bang, bang, bang."

He said he stayed put after he heard shots fired. His goddaughter and a friend were supposed to be at the gathering, but they couldn't make it.

"I feel they were targeting somebody," Phillips said. "But, nine times out of 10 in a crowd like that, the people they want to get, get off scot-free and other people shed blood. I sure hope they catch whoever it was."

Despite the large crowd, Melbourne Police said investigators are having trouble getting witnesses to come forward with information. The Palm Bay Police Department is helping with the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Melbourne Police at 321-608-6731 or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).