In between the cheers of proud parents and the sound of ballplayers cracking their bats, fans at Middlebury’s little league park heard something unusual Saturday.
“As it progressed, the noise got louder and we heard things tinging off metal,” said parent Jen Engdahl.
But it wasn’t the sound of a homerun hit sailing into the outfield. Fans were hearing gunfire.
“There was a gentleman out here in the outfield and he yelled ‘There’s a live bullet, everybody clear the field,’” said parent Jilann Shultz.
Witnesses say several bullets ricocheted throughout the park; one of them went straight into the scoreboard.
“It’s the last thing you think you’re going to run into coming out to the baseball field hearing gunshots,” said Coach Brian Pletcher. “And, with the recent events in Colorado, it’s just scary when you hear those kinds of things. So, we were very concerned and cleared the field immediately.”
Their concerns weren’t calmed anytime soon.
After they called 911, parents say police didn’t even stop by the park to make sure everyone was OK.
“As a parent with my son out there on the field, six feet above his head is a bullet that’s lodged in a thing,” Engdahl said. “I’m not feeling very safe. I called a non-emergency number to get a report filed because nobody came out to the park [Saturday] to make sure we were OK.”
Elkhart County Police are investigating and say the bullets came from a nearby home where people were shooting at targets.
Police say the people didn’t intentionally damage the sign or target anyone at the baseball fields.
NewsCenter 16 spoke with the property owners where target practice was going on. They say they don’t know how the bullets could have made it to the park without being stopped by the hills and trees in between.
Little league parents say with few answers to their questions, they’re feeling unhappy and a little unsafe.
“Nothing was taken seriously [Saturday] because nobody was hurt,” Engdahl said. “But, it only takes one. It’s a split second.”