JSO looking for man who they say opened fire at youth football tournament in Mandarin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Police are looking for a man who they said opened fire at a youth football game in Bartram Park at Greenland Park. To the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s knowledge, nobody was injured, but a lot of families were shaken up Sunday.

A mother who wished to only go by the name “Christy” told Action News Jax that she heard the gunfire when she was at the game.

“Scary, because I had two kids on the field, so it’s like, ‘Which kid do you run to first?’” she said. Several youth football teams met up to play against each other in the Mandarin Athletic Jamboree scrimmage on Sunday.

“There must’ve been at least thousands of people there. Everybody was getting along,” Christy said. “Then we heard at least six to eight rounds.”

JSO reported an argument broke out between two spectators and that one of them pulled a gun from his backpack and started shooting.

Action News Jax asked JSO if the shooting could’ve been gang or drug-related: “It’s still under investigation at this time,” Officer Cheyenne Snyder said.

Police said witnesses described the suspect as a man wearing a black sweatshirt and red belt.

As for Christy, her heart breaks for the children.

“These kids not even comprehending. We’re just doing football today. Then the next thing you know, there’s shooting. Most of them were screaming, crying,” she said.

Action News Jax reached out to the Mandarin Athletic Association.

“We’ve been blessed to not have had any major incidents over the years until today. We’re grateful no one was hurt,” Curtis said.

Action News Jax reported on a shooting at a youth football game back in October 2020 where a man was killed and a child was shot.

Action News Jax asked JSO if Sunday’s incident was connected to the shooting in October. Police said they don’t know.