20-year-old Lee County woman killed in shooting at Clewiston’s ‘Brown Sugar Festival’
CLEWISTON, Fla. – A local woman has died and three others were injured in a shooting at the Brown Sugar Festival in Clewiston Saturday night, according to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.
HCSO confirmed 20-year-old Evereonna Sankey of Lee County died in the shooting that happened around 9:30 p.m. in the Harlem Community of Clewiston. Deputies said they were in the area of Harlem Academy and 12th Street when they heard multiple gunshots.
Deputies responded and began life-saving procedures to Sankey, but she passed away a short time later.
“Our Investigators are following up on all leads and we are determined to bring about closure for this family,” said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Evereonna Sankey.”
Family members said Sankey had just finished school to become a registered nurse.
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has not yet released information on the suspected shooter or the victims’ conditions.
The Brown Sugar Festival is put on by a non-profit organization annually the first week of May, according to the event’s website. The popular gathering designed as an appreciation of Black Heritage raises money to award scholarships to kids in the community.
“Why would you come to a festival bringing your gun? You don’t need a gun at a festival,” said Rev. Gwen Patrick-Griffiths, Founder of the Brown Sugar Festival.
She said the festival was a great time for everyone, until it was time to leave.
“We couldn’t push them along and get them to go home. Get in your cars and go home it’s over with. We just couldn’t get them to do that,” said Griffiths.
Board members said over 3,000 people were in attendance at the festival.
“This is distressing to me to know someone lost their life because we were trying to give them some type of entertainment some way other than staying home and not being able to enjoy our community,” Griffiths said. “We’ve got to stop killing each other. We got to stop it.”
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate and said no arrests have been made yet.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on the crime to contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600.
This is a developing story.