LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies reported on Monday that four were injured when a shooting interrupted a boys’ little league football game on Sunday night at a Broward County Public School.
Willie James Cheatom, Jr., said his 18-year-old son Willie James Cheatom III was among the wounded. He said he was sleeping when his wife woke him up to let him know.
Cheatom said his son later told him he had walked by Boyd H. Anderson High School’s football field in Lauderdale Lakes and he was in the stands going up the stairs when he was shot in the leg.
“Someone came from behind with a mask and started shooting,” Cheatom III said, according to his father who said, “My heart dropped to my feet. You never know the outcome of a gunshot.”
According to BSO deputies, the shooting caused panic and chaos shortly before 8:30 p.m., on Sunday, at the school’s football field at 3050 NW 41 St. A BSO helicopter responded.
“Investigators advised that another victim was located later for a total of four victims. Two juveniles and two adults, all males. All with injuries listed as not life-threatening,” Claudinne Caro, a spokesperson for BSO, wrote in an e-mail on Monday evening.
A YouTube video by Qween of Sports and a video by Wods Media from the press box show the mayhem after the shooting interrupted the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes’ game. The videos show some ran for cover and others got low to the ground. There was screaming. A child shouted, “Mommie!” Another child was crying.
“The kids were still traumatized. As of today, they were crying,” Delvin King said on Monday. “One parent even said she is teaching her son that ‘When you hear gunfire at a game, this is what you do, this is how you drop down on the field’ ... That’s sad that your six-year-old, your seven-year-old, your 10-year-old has to learn how to do these things in order to survive.”
It was the tragic end to a peaceful day of games between The Florida Youth Football League’s teams and The American Youth Football League’s teams, according to witnesses. A live stream video showed a friendly game between the FYFL’s Lauderdale Lakes Vikings and the AYFL’s Boynton Beach Bulldogs earlier in that same field. A BSO deputy was parked near the sidelines.
Witnesses said a conflict between gamblers earlier in the evening was to blame for the shooting, but BSO deputies have yet to confirm a motive, and some parents of the kids dispute that. Two women who claimed to have been at the youth football games reported there was a fight first, and the shooting that followed hours later was retaliatory in nature.
“I was there during both the fight and the shooting. My child is an athlete ... The fight occurred earlier that day around 6:30. The people involved was removed from the game. There was police and securities checking everyone to get in but somehow the shooter found a way back in the game,” a witness told Local 10 News, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
Some lost their keys and other personal items. Some of the audience’s abandoned debris was still on the bleachers on Monday afternoon. There were shoes, plastic bottles of water, food Styrofoam containers, paper cups, soda cans, and plastic bags. Pieces of yellow plastic tape hung from the fence.
Detectives were asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
Sunday and Monday reports
Watch the 6 p.m. report
Watch the 4 p.m. report
Watch the 3 p.m. report
Watch the 12 p.m. report
Watch Sunday night’s report