FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A volunteer youth-football league coach was gunned down just moments after he had brought cookies and Gatorade to his team after a practice at a Fort Lauderdale park.
Dave Williams, 43, was taken to a hospital but did not survive, reports CBS Miami.
The shooting happened Thursday around 8:45 p.m. in the parking lot of Mills Pond Park. The park is popular with young kids and known for its pee-wee football games. Hundreds of athletes, parents, cheerleaders and coaches were at the park at the time of the fatal shooting Thursday night. No one else was injured.
Witnesses said they saw several males approach Williams. A short time later they heard gunfire and saw the males running away.
Williams’ friends said he coached the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes youth football club at the park. Known better as “Coach Dave,” he had been a youth football coach for the last 12 years.
At the time of the shooting there was a football practice going on at the park but none of the kids were hurt.
Police are trying to figure out what led to the altercation.
Jamaal Gaines, president of the Hurricanes, said he doesn’t know why Williams appeared to be targeted.
Fort Lauderdale police officers were asking for the public’s help in identifying the gunman.
“It’s a sad day,” Gaines said. “I feel so bad that it happened around what we were trying to do for the children in our city.
“We’re doing a great job for the community,” Gaines added. “I pray this doesn’t impact the program.”
The Hurricanes are in the process of planning events to remember Williams, said Martin Maultsby, president of the Florida Youth Football League. The League canceled all the Hurricanes’ games against the Miami Gardens Chiefs that were scheduled to be played this weekend.
“Everything just happened so rapidly, and it’s not a norm or common. It’s an anomaly,” Maultsby said. “This is not the place for this kind of violence. I’ve been in (youth football) for over 20 years, and this is the first one.”