A real life terrifying scene took place at an event normally meant to be frightening fun for fellow zombie fans. Instead tragedy happened after a shooting rampage at a zombie-themed festival left one person dead, four wounded at ZombieCon in Florida. This is something we here at PopCultHQ don’t normally report on, but since we are very avid convention goers and also fellow fans of the zombie scene, this is close to our hearts. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the tragic events. We never want to hear of these types of tragic events around the world, much less in a place we would also attend, like a convention meant for fun. Scary to think that this is the first time I have heard of a convention shooting and we hope this is an isolated incident.
The four wounded victims at ZombiCon on Saturday night were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, according to police Lt. Victor Medico. ZombiCon, an annual event in its ninth year, was expected to draw more than 20,000 people. A manhunt was underway Sunday after the shooting rampage at the zombie-themed festival located in downtown streets.
There were “a lot of witnesses down here, there were a lot of people taking pictures, videos with their cellphone,” Medico said to local media. “Anything that could help with this investigation would be greatly appreciated.”
Reports say that the shots began at 11:45 p.m.,A chaotic scene ensued that sent throngs of zombie-dressed revelers running through De Leon Plaza.
“We didn’t know if it was real or fake,” Haley Delmonte of Naples told WBBH-TV. “Heard gunshots right in front of me. Saw people running and my mind was everywhere. It was so scary. We ran, then we were like wait… was that real?”
Pushing DaiZies, Inc., organizers of the event, published a statement on Facebook expressing sadness for “what happened within the footprint” of their festival.
“We take the safety of our patrons very seriously and take precautions in hiring security and police officers,” the statement said. “Our prayers go out to the family members and individuals involved in the incident.”
The shooting happened around 11:45 p.m. Saturday night and authorities quickly cleared out crowded nearby bars and set up crime scene tape, while others patrolled the area with rifles searching for a suspect. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office set up a command center nearby and deputies assisted Fort Myers police officers in dispersing the ZombiCon crowd.
Some patrons of the event questioned the security measures.
“They patted me down and weren’t going to let me bring fake handcuffs in but they let some guy walk in with a gun?! Just stupid,” commented Joelle Faith Filippone-Greaves.
ZombiCon has been a popular event for nearly a decade, but some local residents and business owners have not welcomed the crowd of costumed revelers in the street dressed as limping, bloated, degrading corpses. Restaurant posted signs on its doors, warning visitors Zombicon participants were not welcome.
“Quarantined. No Zombies allowed,” the signs read.
Our hearts go out to the victim, those wounded and affected by this tragic event.
Source) abc news