CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A scary scene played out for parents this past weekend at a youth soccer field. Someone fired several shots near where the children were playing and sent everyone scattering.
“It’s scary,” said Ingrid Vandelinder, a parent of one of the children playing soccer.
As of Thursday afternoon, Centerville Park is quiet. The fields are empty, but over the weekend, the sound of cheering was replaced by the sound of gunfire.
“All the sudden, it started getting a little closer,” Vandelinder added. “It sounded more like a handgun this time. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.”
The shots sounded like they were coming from the woods right next to where Vandelinder’s 5-year-old daughter Bethany was playing.
“It was so quick,” she said. “I heard them say ‘Get down.’ I said ‘Where is she?’ He [Vandelinder’s husband] said ‘She is right here,’ and he was on top of her. All the kids were underneath their parents.”
Just as fast as they came, the shots stopped. No one was injured.
“My girl tells me the next day, she says she had a nightmare last night that somebody was shooting at us,” Vandelinder added. “I’m like oh my gosh you’re 5 you shouldn’t have to worry about this.”
The league, which is run by Chesapeake United Soccer Club, put out an email reassuring parents that things are safe.
“We don’t know this isn’t going to happen again,” Vandelinder said. “What is it going to take, somebody getting hurt, for something to really be done about it?”
Chesapeake United is working with the police department in hopes of finding who fired the shots. Parents say the only shots they want to worry about are ones on goal.
“Why were they shooting toward a field full of children?” Vandelinder asked.
Chesapeake United has asked the city for an increased police presence for the weekend.
Below: Full statement from Chesapeake United sent to families.