Caught in the crosshairs: parents talk about Bradenton shooting - WFLA News Channel 8

Caught in the crosshairs: parents talk about Bradenton football shooting

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BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

People jammed into the gym at the "13th Avenue Dream Center" on Friday night, to hear how their safety will be handled after Thursday night's shooting. During the Manatee Mustangs Youth Football Club first practice two men, with shirts around their faces, shot a man as he tried to run away. The victim is identified as 39-year-old Brenton Coleman Sr.

Melissa Mapps grabbed her baby and 10-year- old son, and ran to her car. "I had him put him down on the floor. And everybody else, all you see is grownups grabbing children, running. That's all you see: Grownups, grabbing children, running all over the field," she said.

A Mustangs assistant coach says the incident was very scary. "I ran. I had my son. It was me and my son. And a guy's step son and actually I grabbed them and just ran behind the cars and got them down and just heard gun shots," said Darvin Searles.

"There were multiple gunmen that came on the property and singled out the victim. Apparently there was a small foot chase and they caught up with him and shot him," explained Bradenton Police Capt. William Fowler.

Police said about 500 people were watching the Pee Wee teams practice when the suspects fired at least two deadly shots at Coleman, paramedics pronounced him dead in the parking lot.

Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski says, "Bradenton is still a relatively small city. Everybody knows everybody. There was 3, 4, some people say 500 people out there last night with their kids. Somebody saw these guys, somebody knows these guys and they need to step up and give us a call and give us the information."

Michael Carnegie, he President and CEO of the United Community Centers, Inc. Says, "We've never had an incident like this before in our 75 year history."

Carnegie says he will not allow this incident to stop their programs, "We cannot let a few negative people in the community deter us from coming out and enjoying, what we've worked so hard to provide for our kids and for our families."

Football practice will resume Saturday morning at 9a.m. Police plan to beef up their patrols.

Anyone with information is asked to call Bradenton Police at (941) 932-9300. They can also make anonymous tips 24/7 to Crime Stoppers by calling 1 (866) 634-TIPS.

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