Fort Myers, Florida police released a vague description of a suspect who shot into a crowd of zombies during a zombie festival over the weekend, causing people dressed in ghoulish costumes to scream and sprint down the streets.
Confusion reigned as people, participants and police wondered whether the bloodshed was real or fake. So far, one dead and five zombies wounded are being reported.
H/Tip Yahoo News: “Everybody was in bloody, gory makeup,” said Jill Stancel, who was selling water Saturday night when the shots rang out just outside her door.
For the past eight years, the city has hosted ZombiCon, which touts itself as “the largest gathering of zombies and those who love them in the state of Florida.”
The event is free and draws about 20,000 people to downtown, where George Romero filmed the opening scene of “Day of The Dead,” a seminal zombie movie.
Police said the shooter is a white or possibly Hispanic man in his late teens or early twenties (no reports on the whereabouts of George Zimmerman, however). He was dressed in a black T-shirt and wore a flat-billed black and red ball cap. He was spotted firing a black semi-automatic handgun.
Police also released a video from someone who was at the festival. In the footage, hundreds of people in costume could be seen milling around, some having their photos taken with a person dressed in a large skull head and holding a scythe. Four loud pops are heard in the video, and then people start to run.
Haley Delmonte, of Naples, told NBC: ‘We didn’t know if it was real of fake. We ran, then we were like wait…was that real?’
After she watched the panic unfold from a hotel balcony, Savannah Holden told CNN: ‘It cleared out fast and cop cars and ambulances came.’
A statement on the ZombiCon Facebook page said organizers were saddened by the news and the group takes the safety of its patrons very seriously.
It said: ‘The organizers of Zombicon, Pushing DaiZies, Inc. are deeply saddened by the news of what happened within the footprint of our event.
The big question remains: Is it a hate crime to kill zombies? We’re also pretty sure that Democrats will be calling for expanded background checks as a result of the shooting.