Shooting shuts down State Road 44 and sends three people to Villages hospital 

A rowdy block party in Wildwood attended by more than 2,000 people prompted a shooting that sent three wounded partygoers to The Villages Regional Hospital.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office responded at 2:40 a.m. Saturday and shut down westbound State Road 44 as crime scene technicians investigated the scene.

The block party began at County Road 235 and moved to the Wildwood truck stop area near Interstate 75. There was gunfire from multiple vehicles in the vicinity of McDonald’s and Waffle House.

At least one building, Burger King, was hit by a stray bullet that shattered a glass door at the restaurant, located directly across State Road 44 from McDonald’s and Waffle House. The door was boarded up and an employee was sweeping up the shattered pieces of glass Saturday morning.

Burger King employee Kyle Lucia sweeps up pieces of glass after a bullet shattered a door at the restaurant.

One of the victims is being treated for critical life-threatening injuries while the other two victims are being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this time, according to the sheriff’s office.

Wildwood officials have expressed concern about the block parties that have been springing up spontaneously, fueled by social media.

The sheriff’s office is asking for public assistance regarding this shooting. If you or someone you know has any information, call Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detectives at (352) 793-2621 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS(8477.)