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Armed bystander shot man who opened fire at a crowded Florida park

Posted at 7:27 PM, Aug 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-06 23:19:15-04

An armed bystander shot a man who had opened fire on a crowd at a Florida park, according to police.

The unidentified gunman had returned to the park after a fight with another person on Saturday and proceeded to open fire on the crowd, the Titusville Police Department said. The shooting was reported at 5:20 p.m. at Isaac Campbell Park in the central Florida city of Titusville, which is across the river from the Kennedy Space Center.

At the time, a back-to-school event called "Peace in the City" was being held in honor of Tony Butler, who was found dead in a burning car last month, said the DJ at the event and Butler's cousin, Dwight Harvey.

Harvey said he was playing music for the event when he was startled by the gunfire, which he didn't recognize at first.

"When I turned around, I'm like who shot the firecrackers?" he told ABC News. "So, when I turned around and looked, I saw the other guy returned fire."

Harvey, 50, shot video of the scene as people were fleeing the park, "kids and grown-up adults running for their lives."

The video shows adults and kids with backpacks shouting and running in different directions.

"I had people come up to me saying that they could not find their grandson, they could not find their child," Harvey said. "It was just total chaos."

Police arrested the gunman after he was shot by the bystander, who police said was lawfully licensed to carry a gun.

"We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident," said Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson in a statement. "This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park, this could have been so much worse."

The shooter was airlifted to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries and his gun was recovered from the scene, according to police.

The bystander who shot the suspect waited for officers and has been fully cooperative with the ongoing investigation, they said. After consulting with the State's Attorney's office, police said no charges are expected to be filed against him.