Shooting Spree Suspect Linked to Stolen Vehicle in Fort Pierce Incident

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A man involved in a deadly exchange of gunfire with Fort Pierce Police Department officers has been identified as Bernard Smith, 28. The incident, which unfolded on a Saturday morning, was linked to a vehicle theft that occurred just prior to the fatal altercation. The police department disclosed this information during an update on Monday.

Investigators are now looking into whether Smith is connected to three additional shootings that resulted in two fatalities and one person being critically injured. Maj. Michael Santiago described the events surrounding the confrontation as dynamic, fast-moving, and complex during a news conference on Monday.

According to FPPD, officers were dispatched following two 911 calls – one reporting a shooting near North 24th Street and the other regarding an automobile theft. The stolen vehicle was located near 24th Street, where the officers were already headed due to the shooting report. As they approached the area, gunfire erupted, leading to the encounter with Smith.

During the confrontation, Smith and the three officers exchanged gunfire, resulting in Smith’s death. St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office also responded to aid in the investigation. In a subsequent sweep of the area, two additional shooting victims were discovered, both of whom had succumbed to their injuries.

Despite Smith’s criminal history, it remains unclear if he was involved in the shootings of the three victims. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is leading the investigation into Smith’s death, with the involved officers placed on administrative leave as per protocol. FPPD continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the other shooting incidents.