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Shooting at Florida high school football game was a 'targeted act,' deputies say

and Contact ReportersSouth Florida Sun Sentinel

Deputies say there were two shooters behind the gunfire that erupted at a Friday night high school football game in Wellington — and that at least one of the victims was targeted by the gunmen.

“This was not a result of a current altercation or a random act of violence,” said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. “This was not a random act of violence and had no bearing on the Palm Beach Central or William T. Dwyer High Schools, students, faculty and/or staff.”

One shooter was described as being in his late teens to early twenties. He is 6 foot tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He was wearing a baggy white T-shirt and armed with a black handgun. There was no description for the second shooter.

The victims are a 39-year-old man, who is in stable condition; and a 29-year-old man in critical but stable condition. Both are from the West Palm Beach area. One of the victims is the father of the linebacker for the Dwyer High team, according to WPEC-Channel 12.

“The investigation is very active and ongoing,” Barbera added.

Authorities emphasized that the incident has no bearing on school safety.

“This is not a school shooting,” Barbera said.

Still students, parents and high school staff rattled by the gunfire were offered counseling Saturday, as the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and school district police continue their search for the shooters.

Superintendent Donald Fennoy thanked the law-enforcement officers who were on duty Friday evening, as well as those who helped everyone evacuate the campus football stadium safely.

All school district outdoor sporting events and practices were canceled for the weekend, including any third-party rentals of athletic fields.

School district officials are working to determine what additional safeguards are needed for Friday night football games in the future, Burstein said.

Senior Chase Strelec is still in shock by what he witnessed at a high school football game during the first week back at school.

“I remember panning down and seeing all of the football players running to the locker rooms. And I remember thinking, this isn’t right, something is not right,” he said.

He remembers standing near the bottom of the bleachers, and seeing everyone panic.

“And at that moment when everyone was running toward me I just saw a sea of black and red and silver and empty bleachers,” Strelec said.Chase started running with his friends to a nearby practice field until police arrived.

Saturday Chase returned to school to collect his cellphone and personal belongings he left behind when he ran.

“I just had to get out of there as fast as I could. I didn’t want to risk my life at all,” Strelec said.

Others who attended the game came to the school to get their vehicles they left in the school parking lot overnight.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the shooting incident to contact the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office at 561-688-3000 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 1-800-458-8477 or online at crimestopperspbc.com.

Sun Sentinel news partner WPEC-Ch. 12 contributed to this report

wkroustan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4303 or Twitter @WayneRoustan

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