TITUSVILLE, Fla. – An armed bystander shot a man who opened fire at a Florida park filled with over 100 people. Many of those were children present for a Saturday back-to-school cookout, officials said.
The Titusville Police Department said in a news release the man was involved in a fistfight with another person at the Isaac Campbell Park. He left around 5:20 p.m. but return minutes later with a gun and started shooting.
A bystander, who was lawfully licensed to carry a firearm, then shot the gunman.
“We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident,” Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson said in a statement. “This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park. This could have been so much worse.”
The unidentified gunman, whose firearm was recovered at the scene, was airlifted to a local hospital with critical injuries.
No one else was injured during the shootout.
A DJ whose family organized the event at the park told Florida Today he was standing under a pavilion when he heard at least a dozen shots ring out.
Dwight Harvey was streaming the event live on his Facebook page when the shooting started. Children and parents could be seen in the video going through supplies when the shots suddenly rang out, WFTV reported.
“I was like, who lit firecrackers? I turned around and just said, ‘Oh no, he’s got a gun, he’s got a gun,’” Harvey told the newspaper.
Harvey told the news outlet he was thankful the bystander was in the right place at the right time to quickly end what could have been an even worse situation.
“This was standing your ground, in a situation like this with kids involved; not what you saw in Clearwater—that was murder,” Harvey told Florida Today, referring to a controversial shooting last month over a handicapped parking space that’s sparked protests.
Isaac Campbell Park shooting scene secure. One male victim airlifted to local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Titusville Police Detectives on scene conducting ongoing active investigation. pic.twitter.com/ytDfB5AVfd
— Titusville Police FL (@TitusvillePD) August 4, 2018
The bystander who shot the suspect waited for officers and has been fully cooperative with the investigation, police said. Neither the shooter nor the bystander have been identified.
This case remains an active investigation by the Titusville Police Department. Detectives have consulted with the State Attorney’s office and no charges are expected against the bystander as his actions were within the law based on the preliminary investigation.