Man Describes Buildup to Moore Park Shooting
A man who witnessed the mass gathering at Moore Park says he called 911 to report a large gathering there about 30 minutes before the shooting that happened there last night occurred.
That shooting is one of two that happened Thursday evening in Lafayette. The other happened on Surrey Street near Twelfth Street. Lafayette police now say they believe the incidents are related and connected to a senior skip day event that took place during the day.
"I left approximately four minutes before the shooting happened, and this could have easily, easily been prevented," the caller, who identified himself as a parent of a youth baseball player practicing at Moore Park, said Friday on KPEL's Acadiana's Morning News. "I placed a call at 6:14 to 911, making them aware of what was an escalating problem. What people don't realize: there were nine- and 10-year-old kids practicing in the park at that time, which is why I placed that call."
In addition to baseball practices happening at Moore Park, youth soccer practices were going on or wrapping up when the shooting happened. A football team was also practicing across the fence from the park at Lafayette Christian Academy when the shots were fired.
The baseball parent estimated the size of the crowd to be between 1,000 and 1,500 people.
"We had kids dancing on the hoods of the cars," he said. "People were everywhere. It was total chaos. It should have been dispersed long before it ever got to the point that it did because you could tell it was escalating as time when on."
The baseball parent said he saw--and smelled--the teens smoking weed. Others, he said, hassled some of the adults assisting with their children's sporting events.
"We got there at approximately 5:30, maybe a little before that, and you could see it was coming," the parent said. "I parked, and you had these teenage kids pull up behind my truck and try to intimidate me, acting like they own the park or something like that. This was three hours prior to the shooting. I called police and notified them and said, 'Look, we have kids practicing.'"
The baseball parent said he predicted what happened last night would happen.
"When I left there, I said there's going to be a shooting here tonight, and I have my nine-year-old son that's a witness to it. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."
The parent says he doesn't fault police for what happened. However, he says he wishes officers would have responded when he called 911 to break up the crowd.
"In this modern day of technology, (the gathering) would have been moved somewhere else," he said. "But I'd rather that crowd of 1,500 move on instead of being allowed to congregate."