Gunfire breaks out at Irving park during girls' soccer practice

A father says his young daughter and her soccer team were practicing at a popular Irving park when gunfire rang out.

Police say it was a shootout between people inside two cars Tuesday afternoon. Bullets hit just feet away from the girls and left holes in a coach's car.          

The girls don't want to go back to Fritz Park after what happened. People who were there at the time say children were no further than 100 feet from bullets. As far as police can tell, no one was hit. But it came very close.

Bullets bounced about 100 feet from a 6-year-old girls’ soccer practice at popular Fritz Park in Irving Tuesday night. One father, who did not want his face shown on camera, was in the car waiting to pick her up at 6:30 p.m. when more than a dozen shots were fired.

“Bullets hit the ground and were just shooting dirt up. Coaches were just doing their best to cover the girls,” he said. “Just thinking about it right now brings me to tears.”

The dad says the shots were being fired from a car and seemed to be aiming at people in another car, but many of the bullets hit the field and one of the coach’s cars.

The father followed one of the two cars driving away from the park and pointed it out for police. Officers pulled it over and found a 19-year-old and two 16-year-olds inside. The 19-year-old was arrested for driving without a license. The two juveniles were cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. What police did not find was any kind of weapon.

Detectives are questioning them again and looking into who was in the other car. Police say they found it abandoned with bullet holes a few blocks from the park.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of juveniles that have been committing some of these very violent crimes, very dangerous crimes. Life and death type situations,” Irving Police Officer Robert Reeves said. “And it is very alarming that we’ve seen these young people using firearms in any capacity.”

The girls who were practicing when the shooting happened will not be returning. The team is now looking for a new place to practice.

Police say it is not gang related, but they aren’t certain of the motive at this time. The shooter or shooters could be charged with discharging a firearm in a municipality or assault with a deadly weapon.