Shootout near Little League complex rattles parents, players

obrown@macon.comMay 6, 2014 

A shootout near the Vine-Ingle Little League complex late Tuesday afternoon sent Bibb County deputies scurrying to Payne City.

About 5:40 p.m., five to eight shots rang out from different ends of Gardner Street, one of the two main roads into the softball and Little League complex off Vineville Avenue. No injuries were reported.

Witnesses told police that perhaps two pairs of shooters opened fire at one another, then ran off in different directions -- some between houses in the neighborhood. Some of the shots were fired near the intersection of Gardner and Rose Avenue, about 100 feet from the left field fence of an adjacent softball field.

There was no game in progress at the time, but the girls who were warming up were sent to the far side of the field from the gunshots, two parents said. They began their game soon afterward.

Deputies and investigators sealed off the two streets with yellow tape, talking to neighbors and witnesses and looking for shell casings. The adjacent parking lot was full as cars pulled in and out for games.

“There’re a lot of concerned parents here,” said one parent who was watching a softball game on the field nearest the gunshots. “We need more of a police presence here. There’re a lot of kids out here. It’s getting where people are scared to bring their kids out here.”

The man said Vine-Ingle hires off-duty officers for security during softball and baseball games.

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