Sheriff Ken Mascara announced Monday the arrest of 28-year-old Kemmye Riccardo Parson, of Ft. Pierce, in connection with a shooting at the Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration at Ilous Ellis Park in Ft. Pierce, which resulted in the tragic death of 29-year-old Nikkitia Bryant.

“Let’s not forget also there were seven additional victims shot during this horrific incident. Four others were injured as they tried to escape the chaos from the scene. Only by the grace of God we don’t have seven other pictures lined up here,” said Sheriff Ken Mascara. “Like so many other families that day, Nikkitia was celebrating with her young daughter, and she was with her daughter ordering food at the food truck when indiscriminate gunfire struck and killed her.”

According to Sheriff Ken Mascara, the U.S. Marshals located and arrested Kemmye Riccardo Parson at approximately 8:35 Friday morning at a hotel in Tampa, Florida. His charges include attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, second-degree felony murder, and possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon. He is being held in Hillsborough County without bond and awaiting extradition to St. Lucie County.

“Based on the evidence we have gathered thus far, we found probable cause that 28-year-old Fort Pierce resident Kemmye Riccardo Parson is responsible for Nikkitia’s death,” said Sheriff Ken Mascara. “Once probable cause was established, we worked with the State Attorney’s office to issue a warrant for his arrest.”

According to Sheriff Ken Mascara, the Sheriff’s Office has worked with the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners to install cameras at five county parks, which have been plagued with violence and/or vandalism. These parks include not only Ilous Ellis Park but also Pepper Park, Lakewood Park, Lawnwood Stadium, and the Stan Blum Boat Ramp. Two companies are currently in the bid process to supply and install these cameras.

“County commissioners have banned the two event promoters, James Monds and Tiffany Burrell, from leasing any county facility due to their failure to procure and maintain an armed security detail, which was cancelled the night before this tragedy,” said Sheriff Ken Mascara. “They failed to notify the county that the security detail was cancelled. They failed to notify us that it was canceled.”

According to Sheriff Ken Mascara, their application also stated that alcohol would not be served at the event; however, a beer truck was on the premises, which clearly suggests their falsification of the event application.

The Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have offered a combined reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of suspects in this shooting.

“With the arrest of Kemmye Ricardo Parson, our work has just begun, and we ask that anyone with information related to this incident to call detectives or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477,” said Sheriff Ken Mascara.

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