CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Childhood fun could have turned to tragedy as children at a baseball tournament being played at an Oakleaf Athletic Association baseball program field had to take cover as gun shots rang out and bullets flew through the air Saturday afternoon.
The baseball field's outfield fence happens to sit right next to some wooded property where on the other side of the tree line, several men, including an off duty Clay County Sheriff's deputy, were shooting guns, including an AK-47, for target practice.
Parents called 911 after they said they could hear bullets flying over their heads.
Police reports show that when deputies showed up they recognized Adam Spearman, an off-duty deputy with the Clay County Sheriff's Office who said that he and his friend, Adam Bell, were shooting guns a few minutes earlier but had recently stopped.
Investigators determined that the men were given permission to shoot on the property and because they were shooting on a friend's land they were doing nothing illegal.
Dan Pierce is a coach for one of the teams and was disturbed by the news in the report that "a spent projectile round from a .40-caliber handgun was located about ten yards inside the left-field fence". But no one knows at this point when that bullet was fired or where it came from.
"Well that's dangerous, it really is. That's the first time I've heard about it actually, that the bullets are coming here. (It's scary) because my kids play here," Pierce said.
No charges have been filed and the deputy isn't in trouble because technically they weren't doing anything wrong, but the landowner who was letting them shoot on his property said they won't be allowed to again, much to the parents' relief.
"You just don't want the kids to get hurt. So they're lucky," Jerry Gunning, an assistant coach, said.
Spearman and Bell did say they were shooting at a sand berm in the ground and didn't believe the bullets could go anywhere near people. Deputy spearman was also not using his police-issued firearm.