Shoot­ing at foot­ball game a ‘tar­geted act,’ deputies say

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By Wayne K. Rous­tan and Anne Geg­gis Staff writ­ers

Deputies say there were two shoot­ers be­hind the gun­fire that erupted at a Fri­day night high school foot­ball game in Welling­ton — and that at least one of the vic­tims was tar­geted by the gun­men.

“This was not a re­sult of a cur­rent al­ter­ca­tion or a ran­dom act of vi­o­lence,” said Teri Bar­bera, spokes­woman for the Palm Beach Sher­iff’s Of­fice. “This was not a ran­dom act of vi­o­lence and had no bear­ing on the Palm Beach Cen­tral or Wil­liam T. Dwyer High Schools, stu­dents, facul“This ty and/or staff.”

One shooter was de­scribed as be­ing in his late teens to early 20s. He is

6 foot tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He was wear­ing a baggy white T-shirt and armed with a black hand­gun. There was no de­scrip­tion for the sec­ond shooter.

The vic­tims are a 39-year-old man, who is in sta­ble con­di­tion; and a

29-year-old man in crit­i­cal but sta­ble con­di­tion. Both are from the West Palm Beach area.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is very ac­tive and on­go­ing,” Bar­bera added.

Au­thor­i­ties em­pha­sized that the in­ci­dent has no bear­ing on school safety.

is not a school shoot­ing,” Bar­bera said.

Still, stu­dents, par­ents and high school staff rat­tled by the gun­fire were of­fered coun­sel­ing Satur­day, as the Palm Beach County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and school dis­trict po­lice con­tinue their search for the shoot­ers.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Don­ald Fen­noy thanked the law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers who were on duty Fri­day evening, as well as those who helped ev­ery­one evac­u­ate the cam­pus foot­ball sta­dium safely.

All school dis­trict out­door sport­ing events and prac­tices were can­celed

for the week­end, in­clud­ing any third-party rentals of ath­letic fields.

School dis­trict of­fi­cials are work­ing to de­ter­mine what ad­di­tional safe­guards are needed for fu­ture Fri­day night foot­ball games, Burstein said.

Se­nior Chase Str­elec is still in shock by what he wit­nessed at a high school foot­ball game dur­ing the first week back at school.

“I re­mem­ber pan­ning down and see­ing all of the foot­ball play­ers run­ning to the locker rooms. And I re­mem­ber think­ing, this isn’t right, some­thing is not right,” he said.

He re­mem­bers stand­ing near the bot­tom of the bleach­ers, and see­ing ev­ery­one panic.

“And at that mo­ment when ev­ery­one was run­ning to­ward me I just saw a sea of black and red and sil­ver and empty bleach­ers,” Str­elec said. He started run­ning with his friends to a nearby prac­tice field un­til po­lice ar­rived.

On Satur­day, Str­elec re­turned to school to col­lect his cell­phone and per­sonal be­long­ings left be­hind when he ran.

“I just had to get out of there as fast as I could. I didn’t want to risk my life at all,” Str­elec said.

Oth­ers who at­tended the game came to the school to get ve­hi­cles left in the school park­ing lot overnight.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are ask­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the shoot­ing to con­tact the Palm Beach County Sher­iff’s Of­fice at

561-688-3000 or Palm Beach County Crime Stop­pers, anony­mously, at

1-800-458-8477 or on­line at crimestop­per­spbc.com.

Sun Sen­tinel news part­ner WPEC-Ch. 12 con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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