DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Family, friends, teammates and an entire community are heartbroken after a teen athlete remains in critical condition after being shot in Deerfield Beach Wednesday.
For that reason, city leaders are doing more to stop this from happening again.
City Commissioner of Deerfield Beach Benjamin Preston told Local 10 News that the community is devastated after learning 16-year-old Rickey Ferguson was shot at a city park and is now fighting for his life.
“It really is gripping and it pains the community, and it pains all of us,” said Preston.
The shooting happened around 5 p.m. at the Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex located at 445 SW 2nd St.
The park where children play was swarmed by Broward Sheriff’s deputies as well as undercover officers.
With family, friends and teammates still looking for answers, Preston suggested that help is out there for those that are grief-stricken.
“There was different organizations that were put in place, professionals to help deal with this so that people can come as a group and one on one and talk about how they feel about this.”
Ferguson’s high school football coach Tramain Hall described the young man as a stand-out talent. A player who wanted to go to college but like many teens, still struggling to find his way.
“He was coming around,” said Hall. “He was our starting safety-- he was going to be a power 5 student-athlete.”
Preston hopes that by bringing the Deerfield Beach community together, they can find more to occupy their youth and prevent further tragedies from happening.
“It is important to take guns out of the hands of these kids and put back in their hands--books and maybe programs that can help them to be busy over the holidays,” he said.
On Thursday, city officials confirmed that Ferguson was a football player at Deerfield Beach High School.
Hall was devastated after learning one of his players was shot Wednesday and is now fighting for his life.
“Everybody is praying for him, but it is a bad situation,” said Hall. “When I heard about this I was torn up because I seen the work that Rickey did to continue to be successful.”
In the wake of the shooting, the City of Deerfield Beach is offering community support.
Authorities have yet to provide any information on a possible suspect.
The investigation is ongoing.