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Pee-wee football game canceled after shooting

Posted October 15, 2008

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— A 17-year-old was wounded Tuesday evening in a gang-related shooting at a Sanford park where 9 and 10-year-olds were warming up for a football game, police said Wednesday.

The shooting occurred at about 6:15 p.m. in the parking lot of Horton Park, on Washington Avenue, said Capt. David Smith of the Sanford Police Department.

"My children and I were inside the house, and I heard pop, pop, pop, pop, and my children were, like, 'Mama, firecrackers,'" said Melissa Peoples, who lives near the park. "I said, 'No, that's not firecrackers.'"

A man whose son was in the pee-wee football game said he heard about 15 shots. Children came running from a picnic shelter  at the park after the shooting, he said.

Officials immediately canceled the game.

The shots hit three parked cars, Smith said.

"Shooting down in the ground or whatever, in the gravel, pavement or anything, any of those bullets could have ricocheted. We were just fortunate," he said.

Freeman Brooks said the teen who was shot came running past his house.

"Somebody came running by here hollering (and) went up the street," Brooks said. "(He was) hollering like he was hurting."

The teen, whose name hasn't been released, wound up at Central Carolina Hospital, where he was treated for wounds to his lower back and hip. The injuries were not life-threatening, Smith said.

Smith said the teen identified the shooter as a member of a rival gang. Police had identified a suspect by Wednesday evening and expected to make an arrest.

Peoples said the incident upsets her.

"My husband takes my children out there all the time," she said. "It's very scary."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • tarheelblue919 Oct 17, 2008

    kids need to get a grip! gangs, guns, i have heard the inniciating stories and its horrific!!! gangs are pure disgusting!!! i think if we need to army to crack down on them, then so be it. but its gotta stop, PERIOD.

  • sayitoutloud Oct 16, 2008

    I have lived in Sanford my entire life (28 years), this is NOT something that happens often. The only reason Sanford is ever on the news is when something happens.
    We do have our "Bad Apples" but what community doesnt. I guess to feel safe everybody should move to Apex?

  • ccs1920 Oct 15, 2008

    Sanford needs to clean up it's parks and not worry about being PC. Raleigh needs to do the same. Last Sunday at a park on Noble Road it was unbelievable. Seventy five to a hundred in one group throwing beer bottles, taco wrappers and misc trash everywhere. Illegaly parked pickups and vans had ten to fifteen cars blocked in the parking lot. It's going to happen here. It's no longer just Sanford and Durham.

  • Navy Vet Oct 15, 2008

    Its pretty sad when you have to add kevlar to your athletic supporter.

  • kbo0801 Oct 15, 2008

    And I know this is violent but, how about these parents start punching these in the kids when they want to shot and kill.

  • thought Oct 15, 2008

    THese kids join a gang because they are looking for a "family" - they have none at home- rich or poor- paretns ignore the kidds.
    Government does not allow it - PARENTS should not allow it. It starts with parents - why should the government or anyone else stop your child??
    You guy boohoo about too much government - then when things don't go your way - you clame them for not being there.
    If families would be there- no cell- tv- video games- computer- sit and talk- maybe this would not happen.
    let the bashing begin!!!!!!!

  • likemenow Oct 15, 2008

    How about the police/lawfully armed citizens shooting back at these idiots?...a few less of them would make the world a much better place?....ever watch The Shield? Until this take place in a better neighborhood, nobody will do anything at all.

  • terwin3 Oct 15, 2008

    Dear Gang members if you want to feel important and make you mark on this world, go to church. Pray to GOD. Help people that can't help themselves, like the missions for example.
    I agree with Choirgirl, if the feds would delete these people and take action the FIRST time they get in an incident they would be scared of the LAW and not rival gang members.

  • choirgirl Oct 15, 2008

    My question is when will our Government stop allowing gangs to exist?? They terrorize like terrorists so why can't we just use the Homeland Security broad based laws and make them disappear to Gitmo or Saudi?

  • personality Oct 15, 2008

    I have still not figured out why people are so weak minded that they need to be part of a gang to make them feel more of themselves as a person....or a person of power.

    People in involved in gangs are weak for they can't stand on thier own two feet, and be there own person, and have thier own identity.

    Get a Life and quit taking others.....