What should have been an exciting, child-friendly event turned into a complete nightmare when an armed shooter opened fire at a back-to-school event in Titusville, Florida. To make matters worse, the entire incident was caught on camera while one person was streaming live on Facebook. The seemingly peaceful event erupted into chaos when shots rang out.
Horror and Chaos:
It has been reported that Dwight Harvey – the local DJ whose family organized the big event – was reportedly the person filming at the time of the shooting. According to WFTV, the footage captured the scene of horror as parents and children ran for their lives hoping to dodge the spray of bullets. During a news interview with the publication, Harvey recalled the moments of horror when the shooter opened fire. “Everybody just scattered,” Harvey recalled.
“There were kids in the path of those bullets. Thank God none of the kids got hit,” Harvey said. “To have this happen at an event for the kids, at the ‘Peace in the City’ rally, is just crazy to me. It’s unbelievable. It hurts. It hurts.” Harvey added, “I was like, who lit firecrackers? I turned around and just said, ‘Oh no, he’s got a gun, he’s got a gun.’”
Check out the news video below:
Harvey went on to express how grateful he was the bystander was in the right place at the right time. The bystander also opened fire and hit the shooter Although the shooter and bystander’s names have not been released, Harvey is just happy he stepped up to the plate. He also noted how differently the shooting could have turned out recalling the shooting that took place last month in Clearwater, FL. “This was standing your ground, in a situation like this with kids involved; not what you saw in Clearwater — that was murder,” Harvey said.
The bystander, who has a license to carry, warned the shooter not to move and he did. That’s when he was shot twice. It has been reported that the shooter suffered life-threatening injuries and was rushed to a local hospital where he is reportedly in critical condition.
“We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident,” said Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson. “This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park, this could have been so much worse.”
Apologizing For His Son:
In wake of the tragic shooting, the 24-year-old gunman’s father, Wayne Mitchell, has released a statement of apology for his son’s actions. According to WTFV, “I just ask and pray that they forgive my son,” Mitchell said. “My son did do something wrong. He did come to that park, where there were babies, children, and mothers.”
Mitchell claims there was a disagreement between his son and another man prior to the shooting. Mitchell’s son had gotten into a fight with another man and he believes his son just wanted to scare the man. Witnesses say the two men began fighting over the gun and it went off several times. But despite his son’s reckless actions and wrongdoing, Mitchell believes the bystander who protected others from being shot should have kept his gun holstered. Although he fired a weapon and several people could have been injured or killed, Mitchell thinks the situation could have been handled differently. “He could have taken the description of my son, of the car and the license plate and said, ‘Here,’ to law enforcement, so they can do the job they’re paid to do,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s son has yet to be charged because he is still hospitalized. The bystander will not face charges because his actions align with Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.