5 shot, 1 dead at annual Williston-area Crab Festival

5 shot, 1 dead at annual Williston-area Crab Festival

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Five people were shot, killing one, on Saturday during the annual "Crab Festival," an unsanctioned food and street party that draws thousands near Williston, south of Gainesville.

The victim who died was identified as Barry Barney, 36.

At about 8 p.m. Saturday, shots rang out at the Crab Festival, a "series of hip hop-style street parties" that attracts an estimated crowd of 10,000, Levy County deputies said. The volume of vendors, people and vehicles force the closure of several roads, including County Road 318, where the shooting took place.

The event is unsanctioned and not permitted, but because violence has erupted in the past, law enforcement, ambulances and a medical helicopter were on hand at the event.

Deputies heard the gunshots. Large crowds prevented ambulances from reaching the wounded, but paramedics and deputies transported some of the victims in private vehicles and patrol cars. Barney were taken to a hospital by helicopter but died on the way, deputies said.

Investigators recovered some physical evidence, including shell casings, at the scene, and the investigation is ongoing. Deputies ask that any witnesses contact Lt. Scott Tummond at 352-486-5111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477. Investigators are especially interested in obtaining video or photographs taken at the Crab Festival. Witnesses can remain anonymous by giving information through Crime Stoppers.


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