Home / One young woman killed, family looking for answers after festival shooting in Clewiston

One young woman killed, family looking for answers after festival shooting in Clewiston

Reporter: Breana Ross, Erika Jackson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

A family is heartbroken after a 20-year-old woman was killed and three others were injured after a shooting.

This happened during the Brown Sugar Festival in the Harlem community of Clewiston. Meanwhile, Hendry County deputies are still looking for the person who did this.

Evereonna Sankey’s family wants people in the community to know the beautiful soul that was taken from them due to gun violence. They are also pressing for answers about what happened Saturday night.

Her mom was once the vice president of the Brown Sugar Festival.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and everyone in Evereonna’s family says the picture of her from her nursing school graduation says it all. She was destined to make a difference.

Teresa Sankey is Evereonna’s mother. “My daughter was a good person, a productive citizen. Her goal was to save lives, and now, her life has been taken by a gun because they don’t want to regulate it, and I lost my baby, and she didn’t deserve this at all.”

Evereonna’s sister, Latresa Tillman, was right by her side at the Brown Sugar Festival. They were having a good time, enjoying the night when a few gunshots turned their entire world upside down.

Tillman was also hit by a bullet but survived. “I did a quick assessment of myself, and I was like, ‘OK, my lungs are clear,’ and I immediately checked on her, and I saw she was not getting up,” Tillman  said.

Now, the family has been left with questions about who killed Evereonna and why there wasn’t more security at the festival.

“Every year I’ve ever went, there were police everywhere. This time I’ve seen two police cars. Two police cars,” Teresa said.

She knows that was not enough to keep her daughter and everyone else safe.

They’re also left with pictures and memories of a girl who was the life of every party, a girl whose smile lit up every single room and who was supposed to save lives.

“She was a good soul. I just can’t understand it,” Sankey said.

The family is begging anyone with information about what happened at the Brown Sugar Festival to come forward. Hendry County Sheriff’s deputies need your help.

Crime Stoppers are also asking for your help finding the shooter. If you were at the festival and saw the person who pulled the trigger, Crime Stoppers are asking you to come forward. You can submit tips by calling 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or online or via the P3Tips mobile app.

You could also be eligible for a $3,000 reward if the information leads to an arrest.

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office it normally has up to 6 months to plan for the Brown Sugar Festival and request help from neighboring departments to meet security needs. HCSO says, this year, it received last-minute notice. The sheriff’s office warned the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners in an April meeting that it might be ill prepared on such short notice to protect residents. A spokeswoman for the commissioners says the board approved the event despite those concerns because they thought the event would be smaller than past years.