Indian River County Shooting Incidents In Five Days

Five days of shootings near Gifford in Indian River County.
Five days of shootings near Gifford in Indian River County.

VERO BEACH, Florida – On Friday, June 9th, Terrance Prater, 36, walked into the Indian River Medical Center (IRMC) Emergency Room at 1:30 a.m. with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Less than twenty-four hours later, Eric Roberts, 39, was shot at Guy Colley’s convenience store after threatening others with a knife.

On Monday night, at approximately 11:15 p.m., Emmanuel Relford, 25, walked into the IRMC Emergency Room with a gunshot wound to his left hand.

Overnight, a 17-year-old juvenile walked into the Sebastian Emergency Room with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

All four victims claim to have been shot in the Gifford area.

During Friday’s early morning incident, Prater initially told detectives that he was parked along 49th Street when a black male suspect drove up and shot him for no reason.

After examining the wound, where the bullet traveled down Prater’s leg lodging in his ankle, and further interview, Prater eventually admitted to detectives that he accidentally shot himself.

Prater’s Glock 17 was located in the bushes next to his vehicle parked at his mother’s home. One spent shell casing was located in the vehicle.

Prater is a convicted felon who cannot lawfully possess a gun. A warrant for Prater is pending.

As previously reported about the Friday evening incident at Guy Colley’s, at this time there are no charges pending against Roberts or the man who claims to have shot him in self-defense.

During Monday’s incident, Relford told deputies that gave a ride to an unknown black male wearing a black t-shirt and tan pants in the area of Smith’s Grocery Store, 3200 block of 45th Street.

Relford said that the two began arguing about money for the ride when the unidentified male pulled out a handgun. Relford claims to have reached for the handgun and as they struggled, the weapon discharged striking him in the hand.

Relford told detectives he picked up a child from a family member and drove to Walmart to pick up his girlfriend before going to the hospital for treatment.

Early this morning just after midnight, deputies reported hearing gunfire south of 45th Street. They were unsuccessful in locating a crime scene at that time.

Approximately thirty minutes later, a 17-year-old juvenile arrived at the Sebastian Emergency Room claiming he was shot while walking in Gifford. The injured juvenile told deputies he was walking in the 3000 block of 43rd Street with friends when a vehicle drove by and fired two rounds, one of which struck him in the abdomen.

As Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies canvassed the area, approximately ten .223 caliber shell casings were located in the 4200 block of 31st Avenue. Other witnesses to the shooting incident advised that approximately five to ten minutes after he was shot, they heard gunfire again in the area.

The shell casings located in the street were described as being part of a running gun battle that occurred over a 100-yard span.

Further, deputies located more than ten bullet holes in the residence located at 4252 31st Avenue. Three of the four sides of the residence had bullet holes in it, with the majority of shots appearing to originate into and out of the back of the home.

Deputies do not believe the shell casings found on the street belong to the bullets that struck the residence but were part of a separate shooting incident.

To be sure that everyone inside the residence was safe, deputies knocked loudly on the front door for several minutes before waking a resident, who eventually admitted to hearing the gunfire that struck the home.

“The disturbing part about last night’s gunfire, and so many other incidents we see, is that no one called 9-1-1. Three of the four shooting incidents originated from Emergency Room staff calling us to report gunshot victims. Fortunately, no one was killed in any of these incidents. This continued gun violence must end before another life is lost.” The juvenile was treated for his wounds and released to family members. The other three victims did not sustain life-threatening injuries and were treated and released,” Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated.

At this time, there are no suspects in the shooting incidents on Monday and Tuesday.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS (8477) or visit their website at tcwatch.org. You can remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.00.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.
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