wplg logo

Youth football coach shot, killed at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale

Victim told children to run as gunman approached

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A youth football coach was shot and killed Thursday at Mills Pond Park in Fort Lauderdale, police said. 

Dave Williams, known to people in the area as "Coach Dave," was shot multiple times Thursday night at the park, police said.

A representative with the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes told Local 10 News reporter Layron Livingston that Williams, 43, had been with the youth football league for 12 years and coached 7-year-olds.

Livingston was told that practice had just finished and Williams was walking with a group of children when they saw the gunmen approaching. Williams told them to run.

Police said several men approached Williams at the park before shots were fired. They were then seen running away from the park.

Fort Lauderdale police Detective Tracy Figone said Williams was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead while en route to Broward Health Medical Center.

Police said the gunmen fled the scene. 

"At this time, we don't know their relationship, if any," Figone said. "We don't know if there (were) arguments."

Employees at a car wash on Sunrise Boulevard said Williams owned the business and named it after his late grandmother.

"I can't believe it. He was such a nice person," Cristal Christie, who knew the victim, said.

Christie works at a hair salon next door and said that Williams was a regular customer.

"And their employees, too. They come over here to get their hair done. We wash our cars over there all the time. It's sad," she said. "My heart goes out to the family."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Detective Orlando Almanzar at 954-828-5546. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

About the Authors:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.