Duncanville Fieldhouse police shooting disrupts youth summer camp
DUNCANVILLE, Texas - Duncanville police said no children were hurt when an armed man entered the facility where a summer camp was being held.
The Duncanville Police Department is not releasing the gunman's name or motive at this time but did say the department recently went through active shooter training.
The assistant police chief says his officers did exactly what they were trained to do: stop the threat immediately.
Police say the man fired two shots inside the fieldhouse before officers arrived and just as 150 children from ages 4 to 14 started summer camp. Panicked parents feared the worst.
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Aaron Bausta’s daughter, Chloe, was hiding in a dance classroom upstairs when she texted her dad.
"I had just woke up and someone came in and started shooting," she recalled.
At 8:43 a.m., Duncanville police say a man walked in the front door armed with a handgun. He allegedly exchanged words with a staff member in the lobby and fired one round. No one was hit.
"On hearing that gunshot, they did what they are trained to do," said Duncanville Asst. Chief Matthew Stogner. "
The counselors moved the kids to a safe area and began locking the doors.
According to police, the gunman tried to enter a classroom with children inside but was unsuccessful. That’s when police say he fired a second shot from the hallway at the door.
Tomisha Johnson’s daughter works at the camp and huddled with her kids in a nearby classroom.
"As a parent, that's the worse call you want to hear. Especially that's where your child is," she said.
Investigators say the gunman then moved to the gymnasium that was housing more children. During this time, the children were evacuated and bussed to the Duncanville Recreation Center.
Stogner says his officers arrived on scene two minutes after the first 911 call and immediately entered the building, following active shooter protocol.
"Officers arrived on scene and observed him in the gymnasium and confronted him," he said. "The suspect and the officers exchanged gunfire, where he was put down on the ground."
The suspect was fatally shot during the shootout.
According to police, no staff or children were injured.
Desoto and Cedar Hill police along with Duncanville ISD helped reunite all campers with their parents.
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Back at the fieldhouse parking lot, crime scene tape surrounded a dark colored SUV.
Police have not said anything about why the gunman was at the fieldhouse or who he may have been after.
The Texas Rangers are handling the investigation into the police shootout.
"It could’ve been really bad today," Johnson said. "It could’ve been really bad, but thank God it wasn’t."
While the department didn’t release the suspect’s name, the chief says the department has not had any run-ins with this suspect.
City officials say there are surveillance cameras inside the fieldhouse. They will re-examine their safety protocols in place.