Man wanted for questioning in Fort Pierce mass shooting no longer person of interest

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The man wanted for questioning in the deadly mass shooting that left a mother dead and 11 others wounded during a Martin Luther King Jr. event in Fort Pierce is no longer a person of interest, ABC affiliate WPBF reports.

On Wednesday, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office had identified 27-year-old Frederick Lamar Johnson Jr. as a person of interest in Monday’s shooting.

St. Lucie County deputies said they believed Johnson was at the event.

WPBF reported that Johnson later posted a Facebook video outside of the sheriff’s office just before turning himself in. In the video, he proclaimed his innocence, saying he wasn’t even at the event.

Nikkitia Bryant was one of eight people who were shot, while four others were injured trying to flee the chaotic scene.

According to the St. Lucie County sheriff, Bryant was attending a party with her young daughter Monday evening following an MLK Day parade when she was shot in the stomach and pelvis before being rushed to the hospital.

She was pronounced dead the next morning.

“I don’t know how to put that. It’s Martin Luther King Day. You wouldn’t expect someone to bring a fully loaded gun to a children’s park,” said Calvin Bethel, Bryant’s brother.

Authorities said two of the eight shooting victims are still in the hospital in stable condition.

Authorities believe the shooting was the result of a dispute between several people, some of whom are gang members.

More than 50 shell casings were recovered from three different calibers of weapons the night of the shooting.

Right now, funeral arrangements for Bryant are pending.

Authorities are still searching for the suspect involved.

About the Authors:

Gio Insignares joined the Local 10 News team in May 2021 as an anchor and reporter. He’ll be co-anchoring the new WSFL Morning Newscast, Monday-Friday from 7-9 a.m., and also contribute to other WPLG newscasts.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.