(MANASSAS, Virginia) — At least three people were injured Sunday when gunfire erupted near a middle school athletic field in Virginia, marking the third time in seven days that a shooting has occurred near youth sports facilities across the country.
The latest incident unfolded Sunday morning near Benton Middle School in Manassas, Virginia, about 30 miles southwest of Alexandria, according to the Prince William County Police Department.
Police said a youth flag football game was going on when the gunfire erupted. The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation.
Three gunshot victims were taken to area hospitals, but their ages and conditions were not immediately released.
No arrests were reported, but police said officers had secured the scene.
Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega released a statement on Facebook saying her office was monitoring the situation closely.
“For those who reside near Benton Middle School, please stay in your homes until we have further updates,” Vega said in her statement.
The shooting came just three days after nearly two dozen shots were fired near a high school baseball game in Chicago, prompting players on the field to drop to the ground and others to dive for cover. The shooting occurred just after 5 p.m. on Friday during a freshman baseball game between St. Rita High School and Marmion Academy.
No one was injured in that shooting, and police said they suspect the gunfire came from a McDonald’s across the street from the athletic field where gunmen were firing at a moving car, according to the Chicago Police Department.
On April 25, a barrage of gunfire interrupted a youth league baseball game in North Charleston, South Carolina. Dozens of shots were fired near Pepperhill Park, police said.
Cell phone video showed players on the field diving to the ground and their teammates, coaches and spectators seeking cover.
The North Charleston Police said no one was injured in the shooting. No arrests have been made.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for the shooting.
“It destroyed the hearts of a lot of people: mothers, fathers, children out here participating in sports within our city,” Summey said at a news conference last week. “We will not tolerate this behavior, and we will not allow this behavior to carry forward.”
Gun violence prevention organization Everytown released a report last year showing that between Aug. 20 and Sept. 25, 2021, at least 22 incidents involving guns occurred at football games, soccer matches and Little League games in 14 states. Some incidents turned deadly, including a college football game in Durham, North Carolina, on Sept. 18, where police said two people were fatally shot.
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