Witnesses: Shooting at JV football game was in self defense

A Denton County grand jury will decide what charges a man should face for shooting and critically injuring another man at a JV football game in Carrollton Thursday night.

Police say the shooter and witnesses claim the shooting was in self-defense at the JV game between Hebron High School and Irving Nimitz

The injured man is in critical condition. Police expect the shooter to at least be charged for having a gun on school property.

The man who was shot did not want to press charges, but Carrollton police say the case may go forward anyway.

News of Thursday night’s shooting made some students and parents, like Mary Shelton’s family, uneasy at a Friday night game. She has a daughter on the drill team at Nimitz.

“It makes me a little leery tonight, so I’m glad I came early to calm my daughter’s fears,” she said.

“Everybody was obviously shaken,” said Hebron fan Jenny Reynolds. “But everybody’s been kind of reassured. There’s been counselors at their school.”

Police had extra presence at Friday night’s varsity game in Irving to calm everyone’s concerns.

Police aren’t releasing the men’s names. From witness accounts, it appears a 47-year-old man from Carrollton feared for his life and shot a 31-year-old Fort Worth man in self-defense. It started inside the stadium at the JV game but escalated when it spilled out into the parking lot.

“We do have several witnesses who say the man who ended up shot was the primary aggressor in the stands and was causing disturbances for a lot of people in the stands,” said police spokesperson Jolene DeVito. “And it ended up focused on this one man.”

Police haven’t said what started the argument but say the men didn’t know each other.

The police department will leave it up to a grand jury to determine if the shooter should be charged for the shooting or be cleared. But according to police, he's expected to be indicted on one of two other charges for having a gun at a high school game. Unlawful carrying of a weapon or carrying a weapon in a prohibited place. One is a felony while the other a misdemeanor.

“They are somewhat in conflict the way the laws are written,” DeVito said. “So we, in consultation with the district attorney’s office, decided in this case with these facts it’s best to take it to the grand jury to decide what to do in that case.”

Lewisville ISD says guns are not allowed on any school property, according to state law.

JV games typically have a smaller crowd and don’t always have officers present, but that could be re-evaluated in the future.