Shooting during football game was unrelated to school, authorities say

'The bad guys were not there to shoot students,' sheriff says

By Tim Swift - Digital Editor
Associated Press

Police officers stand watch as spectators are bussed from a shooting incident at a practice football game between Dwyer and Palm Beach Central High School Friday in Wellington.

WELLINGTON, Fla. - A shooting outside a high school football game in Wellington Friday was unrelated to the school, authorities said.

Two people were wounded outside the grounds of Palm Beach Central High School during the fourth quarter of an exhibition game against William T. Dwyer Community High School from Palm Beach Gardens. People at the game heard the gunshots, causing some to panic.

Organizers canceled the game shortly after the shooting. 

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the victims, ages 39 and 29, were not students or staff and just happened be at the game.

Deputies said the 39-year-old is in stable condition and the 29-year-old is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.

The two were shot near the ticket booth outside the stadium, deputies said. 

"The bottom line is that this was a specific, targeted shooting. The people that were involved in this shooting were looking for these two individuals," Bradshaw said. "The bad guys were not there to shoot students. They were not there to go in and randomly kill a bunch of people."

Bradshaw said the victims are expected to help identify the gunmen.

"These are two adults that were assaulted by two other people that they have had past dealings with, not in the most pleasant of circumstances, and that's why they were out for each other," Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw and Palm Beach County School Police Chief Frank Kitzerow defended the school system's security, saying the shooting took place outside the perimeter of the campus.

"When you look at where the incident occurred, it was probably 50 yards off the main road and outside our secure area of our stadium," Kitzerow said.

Bradshaw stressed that it was safe for students to come to school on Monday.

"There is no active shooter out there that's going to come back to the schools. They accomplished what they wanted to accomplish," Bradshaw said.

Deputies described the first gunman as a black man in his late teens or early 20s who weighs about 170 pounds and stands 6 feet tall. He was wearing baggy white T-shirt, deputies said. Deputies did not provide a description of the second gunman.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Palm Beach Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

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