Armed Bystander Takes Down Gunman in Park Full of Children
A licensed gun owner shot a man who opened fire into a Florida park full of children during a back-to-school cookout on Aug. 4 in Titusville.
The unidentified man got into a fist fight at the park, left at about 5:20 p.m., and then returned with a firearm a few minutes later. He opened fire at the event, packed with about 150 people, Florida Today reported. He ran toward the crowd before a licensed gun owner emerged and stopped him. Children can be seen running from gunshots in video footage, obtained by Fox News, that was taken from a Facebook Live stream.
A video of the incident can be seen here (Warning: disturbing footage):
August 4th, Peace In The City ✊🏽 Titusville Fl at Issac Campbell Park! Bring the kids out for some fun 👬
The armed bystander shot at the original gunman before anyone else was injured. The gunman was airlifted from the scene with life-threatening injuries, according to a press release from The City of Titusville.
Neither the original shooter nor the heroic licensed gun owner were identified, but Florida Today reports that the hero was working as a vendor at the event.
“We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident” said Titusville Police Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson, via the press release. “This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park, this could have been so much worse.”
Police do not expect to bring charges against the armed bystander, and the preliminary investigation revealed his actions were lawful.
“I was like, who lit firecrackers? I turned around and just said, ‘Oh no, he’s got a gun, he’s got a gun,’” said Dwight Harvey, the DJ whose family organized the event, via Florida Today. “I thought to myself, ‘did this just happen?’ People were taking cover, everybody was scattered.”
Ironically, the event was also organized in remembrance of homicide victim Tony Butler, whose body was found in a burned out car last month. Harvey told Florida Today that Butler was his cousin.
A flyer for the event posted to Facebook indicates “Peace in the City” as the event’s name. It says the event starts at 2 p.m. along with the words “A day of fun” and “no violence.” The flyer shows people marching, holding signs that people would hold at an anti-violence event. The flyer poster, Andre Mckenzie, appears to be one of the event organizers.