Tags: 5 shot | crab | festival | florida

5 Shot at 'Crab Festival' in Florida That Attracted Crowd of 10,000

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 09:34 AM

By Alexandra Ward

Five people were shot and one person died over the weekend at a Florida event labeled a "Crab Festival," which was really a series of unofficially organized hip-hop street parties.

Devonte Ocasio, 19, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection with Saturday's shooting at the annual event in Williston, just south of Gainesville.

"Pop, pop, pop, and about five shots fired and about five seconds and it quit and went back again," Harold Brown, who lives on the street where the "Crab Fest" was held, told WCJB ABC News-20.

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Four people were reportedly wounded and Barry Barney, 36, of Gainesville died in the shooting.

"We did actually pick up on some information that led us to believe there could possibly be some retaliatory things going on for different actions of some of these groups," Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum told WCJB.

Nearly 45 deputies from the Levy County Sheriff's Office were on hand Saturday to control the crowd of more than 10,000 at the "Crab Fest," where violence has been reported in the past. The unsanctioned event has no corporate or government advertising, no ties whatsoever to a traditional crab festival, and is promoted primarily through social media.

"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 Levy County 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."

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The four people injured included two males and two females. The extent of their injuries is not known, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Ocasio was being held on $1.5 million bond.

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