SAN MARCOS — A youth baseball game at Mission Sports Park was interrupted Monday evening by a bullet that bounced off the field and into the dugout, causing no injuries but leaving those in the area shaken.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department received multiple calls reporting the sound of several shots fired in the area of the park around 7:45 p.m. As a precaution, the nearby Palomar College also entered lockdown from around 8:11 to 9:28 p.m.
In a statement on social media, San Marcos Youth Baseball President Dan Max said a bullet bounced on Field 5 between first and second base and landed in the dugout. A youth team was playing then, and about 200 people were in the park.
A video of the incident shared by KUSI from behind home plate during the game captures the sound of nearby gunshots followed by dirt puffing into the air just feet from where a player was standing in the infield. After the dirt is seen flying into the air, people begin shouting and everyone runs from the field.
Bullet comes feet from kids at Mission Sports Park last night in San Marcos. Luckily no one hurt. Look at the dirt around second base pic.twitter.com/Gy5DpxumQ1
— Bink (@RockyBinkowski) May 9, 2023
“I am so grateful to say that no one was physically harmed in this incident. The amazing youth umpires, coaches and families on the site reacted quickly and got everyone to a safe place,” Max said.
Lt. Gavin Lanning said sheriff’s officials canvassed the area and searched for evidence via helicopter and a K-9 unit but found no victims. He said deputies collected evidence, but he did not know whether it was bullet casings or something else.
Law enforcement has not tracked down a shooter, but witnesses said the shots seemed to come from southeast of the fields near the Los Vallecitos Water District building.
“My read on it is that someone east of the ball fields fired rounds into the air ,and one landed on the field. It doesn’t read that someone was necessarily shooting at the people in the park,” Lanning said.
All San Marcos Youth Baseball operations were canceled Tuesday to allow law enforcement and the city to determine “the best safety precautions we can provide for the remainder of the season,” according to Max.
Palomar College officials said campus police placed the school into lockdown after receiving reports that shots were fired “at a nearby sports complex.” After it was lifted, campus police remained onsite to assist those leaving the campus.
“While we remained on lockdown until 9:28 p.m., we did not have any activity on campus related to the situation at the nearby sports complex,” Palomar spokesperson Julie Lanthier Bandy said.
A representative for the City of San Marcos did not reply to a request for comment.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case. The organization’s anonymous tip line can be reached at (888) 580-8477.
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