BRADENTON, FL--Witnesses say they still can't believe their peaceful football practice turned into a crime scene. "You heard like fire crackers, everyone began running and then we realized its gun shots not firecrackers," Michael Barret.
Barret was one of about 400 people at Norma Lloyd Park, at the 13th Avenue Dream Center, on 24th Street East. They were wrapping up the first day of pop warner football practice when the gun shots rang out.
"I got up and tried to get into a another spot because bullets were flying everywhere, and I turned around and he was by my car," said Barret.
The "he" Barret is speaking about is the victim, 39 year old Brenton Coleman Sr.
"He was running and then he fell by my car and everything else is a blur to me," added Barret.
According to the Bradenton Police Department the incident was a targeted assault. Two masked men were looking for Coleman and when they found him they began shooting.
After the victim fell, one of the shooters approached Coleman, firing the fatal shot that ended his life. Officials from the Dream Center say its unfortunate that children and families were among the witnesses and they're now in the process of countering any negative impacts.
"We are working with local agencies to come in for some grief counseling. That's why we're here in the community to provide a positives outlet to build dreams, change lives of our youth and to help families grow and achieve," said center president and CEO Patrick Carnegie.
In addition to grief counseling Carnegie says they will increase security at practices and games. And, their goal is to use this situation as a way to bring the community together.
"We've been around for over 75 years and you have to have resiliency to be able to do that. We can not let a few people in our community that have the mentality to do bad things keep us from coming out and enjoying life. What we have to do as a community is standup and let them know that, that will not be tolerated," Carnegie added.